Oak Point Fresh Market Knob Creek Barrel #’s 7744 & 7818
It’s nice to be back writing about my favorite topic again, bourbon! We have taken a brief three-year hiatus on writing reviews, but we are back at it again. I’m hoping to publish one review a week, but we’ll see how that goes... I do plan on focusing on the barrel picks around the Greater Baton Rouge area but please send suggestions or requests on anything you want to read or be reviewed, and we will get to it. For now, let’s jump into Oak Point Fresh Market and their fantastic Knob Creek Barrel Picks.
If you have been following us for some time now, you’ll know I have a unique relationship with Oak Point. I got to know the liquor department manager of the Central store, Clint, about nine months ago when I met him after picking up a bottle of their Woodford Reserve pick. He graciously donated two more bottles for one of our BSoBR outings’ raffles, and the rest – you can say – is history. Oak Point has been a great sponsor for us since then; they even donated some amazing bottles for our December “Toys for Tots” raffle. Fast Forward to February of 2019 and my brother, Nate Steele, has taken over as the wine/liquor manager of their Watson store. I say all this because I do care about Oak Point greatly, personally and professionally, but I do plan on putting those biases aside for my whiskey reviews. I always want to assure you all that my reviews will be first and foremost, honest and unbiased.
Onto the Knob Creek.
I actually got to sit in on the Knob Creek barrel selecting process with Clint and the OP boys. That was an experience on its own. We got to try three different samples of bourbons all ages 14 years. I remember being blown away by all three for different reasons and thinking to myself, how will I narrow it down to just one?!? That’s when Clint blurted out the greatest statement he’s ever said, “What if we just get all three?” That changed the game entirely as we knew we were truly onto something here.
Oak Point received the bottles back in December 2018. I don’t remember the exact bottle yield but two were very normal, Barrel’s 7744 & 7818, while barrel #7819 provided a very small amount of bottles, maybe 8 cases total. They sold out of the 7819 by January. That was my favorite bottle; unfortunately, there is no more to be had. I have two bottles in my bunker, and honestly, I’m not going to crack them open just yet.
Today, I’m focusing on Barrel’s 7744 & 7818.
Barrel 7744 was aged for 14 years and 7 months. It came out of the barrel proofed at 121.9 and was watered down to 120 proof, which is the standard for a Knob Creek Single Barrel. This does mean that we are almost drinking barrel proof bourbon here!
The nose is incredibly sweet and delightful. I get a lot of vanilla and brown sugar. This is definitely the classic sweetness that a lot of bourbon drinkers today enjoy. On the palate I picked up a lot of caramel and toffee. Again, I get a lot of that sweet baked goods flavor that so many of our readers enjoy. There is a fair amount of oak in there as well given its age, but it is in the background to the baked goods. The finish is superb as well. I get a lot of delicious tobacco and cloves that lingers on the tongue just long enough! This is a fantastic bourbon that really reminds me of some of the classic bourbon flavors. I consider 7744 the perfect entry into over-proofed bourbons.
Barrel 7818 is a whole other story. It is 14 years old. It came out of the barrel at 135 proof and was watered down to 120 proof. This is definitely watered down more than the 7744.
The nose on this is much harsher than the 7744. I got a ton of tobacco here, with some maple and a hint of vanilla coming through. It’s incredibly enjoyable for me, but I understand that it’s not for every palate. The taste is where this one shines! It is leather, leather, oh and more leather. Lots of oak with just a touch of baking spice. The finish is where this bourbon jettisons into the stratosphere! It is long and delightful. Tons of cinnamon and spice. I might call it abrasive if I was not used to over-proofed bourbons though. So, 7818 is my favorite of the two. It actually won in a blind tasting against several other prominent barrel picks from around town. I call this the “Cowboy” Bourbon to my friends because it is harsh and severe and doesn’t seem like everyone’s cup of tea. Trust me, I get that it doesn’t sound appealing when you say leather and cinnamon, but it hits my mouth right in the feels.
I think both of these bourbons are fantastic. If you want to get your feet wet into the world of Premium & Over-Proofed Bourbons, try the 7744 Knob Creek pick. You will enjoy sipping on something that is high proof and still very manageable. If you are more of a Cowboy, a seasoned veteran of the whiskey world, if you’ve gone to raffles for 5 years now and never won a single bottle of Pappy, if you spent countless hundreds and hundreds of dollars on NDP whiskey that tastes like garbage, if you’ve read Fred Minnick’s blog and found yourself hating him for spreading the word on yet another one of your favorite daily drinkers, then the 7818 is for you. Trust me on this one!
Knob Creek 7744: 4.5 out of 5 Pours
Knob Creek 7818: 5 out of 5 Pours
You can find both barrels of Knob Creek at either Oak Point location. If you pick it up at the Watson location, find my brother Nate, and tell him BSoBR sent you there! These 14-year old single barrel bourbons retail for $42.99.