People have been reaching out about the Knob Creek Rye or about barrel picks in general. I figured it was as good of time as any to set the record straight: a barrel pick is when an establishment buys an entire barrel of whiskey/rum/tequila at a time and has it bottled up to sell individually in their store. (Think the two WhistlePig picks from Oak Point or the Russel’s Reserve picks from Hokus Pokus.) This is a very common practice that is actually getting more and more popular every month as we are still in this Bourbon Renaissance. Retailers are getting fewer barrel picks because more retailers are trying to get into the game. There just aren’t enough barrels to keep up with demand.
The fact that BSoBR got one was a minor miracle. Oak Point was offered this Knob Creek Rye pick and instead of just choosing it themselves, they offered it to us as our first official BSoBR pick. The procedure for picking it was pretty straightforward. We posted that we were going to pick a barrel back in June and gave everyone a few days to let us know if they could make the tasting. Then we randomized the names and selected 5 members, plus myself and the Oak Point managers. We had 3 samples from Knob Creek, which we proofed down to 115 and sampled away. Between the 8 of us, 7 agreed immediately on Sample 8262A. The one dissenter had it as their second choice. After we sampled it, I let the Co-Founder and one other member try the three samples, and they both agreed with our findings. It’s incredibly rare to find 9 out of 10 people agreeing on the same sample; that has not been our experience in the other two picks we have done.
The sample itself was barreled on November 18, 2013. We aren’t exactly sure when it got bottled, but it is almost 6 years old. I wish I could provide y’all with tasting notes, but my journal took a dive into the pond... I can tell you that it is very good and well worth the money. The bottle would retail at $47.99 normally, but thanks to our Oak Point discount, it is $42.99. We are leaving the Order Form open through the end of the week (Sun, Dec 15), at which point we will then close it off and open it up to multiple orders for folks (quantity providing). I highly encourage you to reserve your bottle today, as there will be 200 or so bottles (but we currently have 234 members).
We have two more Barrel Picks in the near future. We are guessing that our Buffalo Trace barrel pick will come in January & our Wheated Ragged Branch Bourbon barrel pick will come in February. The Buffalo Trace is solid, like all BT picks and the Ragged Branch is delicious. We are one of the first groups in Louisiana to pick a Ragged Branch barrel so get excited for both! We also are giving top priority for both of those barrel picks to members who get the Knob Creek pick. We are working towards more picks in the Spring/Summer 2020. Nothing is set in stone but there are some on the horizon to be excited about. We will go into more details on that as they become more realized.
Barrel picks are a great way bourbon societies can come together to share the same type of bourbon. It’s a fun way to put our mark on the bourbon scene by selecting a barrel and saying it’s the best. We know many of y’all were excited about barrel picks when we started BSoBR over the summer, and we hope that excitement continues today!
President & Co-Founder, BSoBR