Knob Creek: The Honor of Lincoln

Knob Creek: The Honor of Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born here, in Knob Creek, Kentucky:

Credit: (

That’s right.  Knob Creek.  Like the bourbon.  As a boy Lincoln would even run lunch down to his dad when he was working at the little distillery a mile down from the farm.  After he ran for State Legislature, and lost, he applied for a liquor license which was granted, although he was, at the time, unable to sell to “Negroes, Indians, or Children.”  Lincoln certainly changed that.  When he became President, Lincoln was a strong advocate of the original temperance movement, and few people know this, but temperance originally advocated moderate responsible drinking rather than banning alcohol altogether.

Read more about Lincoln’s past and history with alcohol here:

The story of Lincoln, and his ahead-of-his-time views on a lot of things, led Jim Beam, in 1992, to name Knob Creek, the oldest batch Bourbon they make (aged for 9 years), after Lincoln’s birthplace.  It was also designed to be made the way Bourbon was made before prohibition.  It’s bottled at a strong 100 proof, and is known for it’s light sweet flavor profile because it picks up the sugar from the fresh wooden casks its distilled in.  It tastes like honey, roasted nuts, dry citrus, and a hint of vanilla, according to me.

According to Sommelier Paul Pacault, it tastes like this:

Opening inhalation detects voluptuous, deep aromas of toasted walnut, cereal grain, and dark toffee; aeration serves to stimulate even deeper scents that include honey, hard candy and overripe peaches. There’s a burst of palate entry heat; midpalate features mature flavors of kiwi, key lime, raisins, plums and grapefruit. Aftertaste is rich, textured and sweet. One of my favorite muscle-bound tipples.

Anyway, everything was fine until 2009, when Jim Beam ran out of Knob Creek.  Why did they run out of Knob Creek?  Because they didn’t realize that when these things were popular:

That nine years later people would want more Bourbon than they were making.

Instead of bottling it early, or apologizing, the company decided to play it up, using ads like this:

This was completely in the spirit of Lincoln, whose exemplary General, and eventual president, Ulysses S. Grant, drank a little too much.  Lincoln was criticized for staffing a heavy drinker, and Lincoln responded by saying that he would send a case of whatever Whiskey Grant preferred to all of his other generals.

Apparently Grant preferred Old Crow.  Old Crow incidentally is the Pabst Blue Ribbon of Whiskey.  But that’s another post.

Here’s to you Lincoln, and the ample supply of Knob Creek we will no longer take for granted:

(My Knob Creek on the Rocks at the Khyber)

P.S. I KNOW it’s dark.  It was at the Khyber.  iPhone 4 will come soon 🙂