One of the positive effects of the whiskey boom is that more liquor stores and bars are personally selecting their own barrels of whiskey to sell. In Seattle, at least two liquor stores and seven bars have purchased their own barrel of whiskey in the last year or two.
Radiator Whiskey near Pike Place Market is one of those bars, having recently purchased a barrel of Knob Creek Single Barrel. If you haven’t been to Radiator, I’d definitely suggest stopping by. Anywhere that you can order half a pig’s head on a platter and sample a great whiskey selection at the same time is worthwhile.
The nose on this Knob Creek Single Barrel has strong notes of vanilla and caramel.
A small amount of burn hits you up front before flavors of corn, candy corn, caramel, and vanilla. Those flavors change rapidly to cinnamon and mint before dryness takes over. A sweetness and hint of char linger for quite a while on the back of the tongue along with a small burn.
This whiskey was initially much smoother than I thought it was going to be at 120 proof. However, after the first couple sips I felt like it was numbing my tongue—a feeling I don’t really care for. In full disclosure though, I generally don’t care for high proof whiskeys. So if you do, I think you’ll really love this bourbon.
The great thing about Knob Creek Single Barrel is that multiple bars in the city have purchased a barrel so you can taste it at a couple different places and compare. Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen (one of our favorites) in Ballard and Bar Myx in Everett are two bars that purchased barrels.
The barrel at Radiator is 10 years plus a couple months. Many of the other barrels sold are aged a little over nine years. Our friend Dave Kearns, the Jim Beam rep in the area, has tasted Radiator's against several other Knob Creek Single Barrels and says it's unique and very good.
Since this is a single barrel we’re talking about, each barrel is obviously different. But if you prefer drinking in to drinking out, you might try the barrel at Total Wine & More or Albertson’s stores in the area. If you do, be sure to let me know what you think.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below, email, or hit us up on social media. No question is too basic!