Score: 89 points
I’ve never been a big fan of adding flavors to whisky, but this is one of the times when it really works. The smoke and maple flavors are just subtle enough on the nose that one can still get the classic Knob Creek notes of caramel, honey, vanilla, and toasted oak. If you like pancakes and sausage, you’re going to love the taste. There’s a good balance of the Knob Creek and subtle, mild smoke along with maple syrup sweetness that’s not overpowering, and the honey, vanilla, caramel, and oak notes from the Bourbon are still present. The only thing that’s missing here is the long finish of Knob Creek…it’s a bit short on the first sip, but on subsequent sips, the maple and smoke take over and linger nicely. I hate to use the terms “breakfast whiskey” or “comfort whiskey”, but this one would define those terms perfectly — just the right whiskey for a chilly weekend morning by the campfire. (August, 2013)
Additional note: Yes, it is legal to add flavors to a Bourbon once it’s been matured and still call it a Bourbon. The confusion about flavors and Bourbon is in the distillation process, where it’s not legal to add flavors during distillation or at the time new make spirit is filled into the cask. As long as it’s done after maturation and disclosed on the label, additional flavors or finishing are legal.