The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

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Page 109 of 134

july 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  107 V odka and caviar. Rum and cigars. Whiskey and . . . eggs? That last pairing shouldn't quite be taken literally: Last year, Knob Creek partnered with Big Green Egg—the kamado-style ceramic cooker known for its pronounced green dome—to launch the Whiskey & Eggs events that began popping up at food and wine festivals all over the country. The two brands know a little something about legacy and flavor, so they developed the Whiskey & Eggs experience to engage the public on what seemingly unconventional partnerships can do for the enjoyment of food and drink. Knob Creek, a mainstay on backbars all over the United States, has long been synonymous with the pre-Prohibition style of whiskey. Since sixth-generation Master Distiller Booker Noe brought Knob Creek to the forefront of the American market 25 years ago, next to nothing has changed when it comes to the hard work and dedication it takes to produce such an authentic, robust spirit. "We stay true to the standards and pillars that our brand was founded on," says Megan Breier, West Coast Bourbon Ambassador for Beam Suntory. "Knob Creek has, and always will, offer the same big, full flavor and hard-earned whiskey that our fans know and love." That's where Big Green Egg and Knob Creek staked out their common ground. Ed Fisher, founder of Big Green Egg, encountered kamado-style cookers while on military duty in the Pacific. While these cookers made great-tasting food, they were very fragile due to their clay construction, so Fisher improved on the design by using high-grade ceram- ics that could better withstand high cooking temperatures. Wildly popular among serious grillers, the Big Green Egg has become a coveted piece of outdoor cooking equipment. "We're hoping that each Whiskey & Eggs event offers an opportunity to engage with local trade, consumers, media, and influencers," Breier says. "We activate at food-focused festivals, like BottleRock Napa Valley and Music Tastes Good here in California, for example, to offer an experience that we feel ties in nicely for the Knob Creek and Big Green Egg brands, as well as to the local market in which the festival is located." The Whiskey & Eggs events have proved a fitting launch- ing pad for the newest addition to Knob Creek's lineup: Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye. Aged for nine years in the distillery's oldest rackhouse, this expression clocks in at a proof of 119.6; in addition to being named Best Rye Whiskey at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, it's gained traction with mixologists and consumers alike. "It's important to get our whiskies into the hands of bartenders and show how they can be enjoyed neat or in a classic or modern cocktail, and how the ingredients in a cocktail together can create a truly unique representation of Knob Creek's flavor," Breier says. On the nose, this powerful rye displays notes of candied orange peel and spicy clove as a palate infused with citrus and cinnamon gives way to a dark oak and black peppercorn finish. This is a whiskey meant to be sipped and savored: If the flavors don't influence one to do so, then the proof most certainly will. Food pairings sit at the center of Knob Creek programs like Whiskey & Eggs, which highlights the perfect union of grilled fare and great bourbon. "When you come to a Whiskey & Eggs event, we don't hold back on delivering big experiences that showcase our flavor—whether that's in a cocktail or in food fresh off the grill," Breier says. "Another one of our favorite pairings includes various country hams. The flavors, textures, and finish of those make them wonder- ful pairing options for our full Knob Creek portfolio." Knob Creek maintains its adherence to founding prin- ciples spanning three decades by following the lead of Master Distiller Fred Noe and his son, eighth-generation distiller Freddie Noe. "Together, they work each day with our distillery team to shepherd the brand and deliver what Knob Creek fans have come to know and love," Breier says. "By staying true to what our brand was founded on and offering unique innovations, consumers know that Knob Creek can be enjoyed no matter where life takes you." Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 50% Alc./Vol. ©2018 Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY. "By staying true to what our brand was founded on and offering unique innovations, consumers know that Knob Creek can be enjoyed no matter where life takes you."

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