Nose: I would have been shocked if this didn’t smell like maple. Alas, it does. And, not much else (because it REALLY smells like maple). Palate: No shockingly, as advertised, this tastes like maple. I didn’t get as much smoke as I thought I might. The maple is about all you taste. It overpowers anything else that might be there, flavor-wise. If you like a sweeter bourbon, well, they don’t get much sweeter than this. But, strangely, it isn’t over-the-top sweet. That is, it isn’t like you’re eating candy. Yes, it is sweet, but really, let’s face it, you’re not going to be drinking this when you’re in the mood for a bourbon. You’re going to drink this when you want something different. You’re going to drink this when you want a “dessert” bourbon. You’re going to offer this to a non-whiskey drinker to ease them into it. You might even pour this over ice cream. I was actually a little surprised that a 90 proof would drink as smoothly as this does. There’s almost no heat noticeable, with just a tad showing up in the finish. That said, it is hard to distinguish that there IS a finish. So let’s just say the heat shows up later in the sip. I will say that the sweetness encourages you to drink this a little bit slower. If you did it as a shot, you might gag, but if you take your time with it, it really is quite pleasant. Comments: This is another mini I found on the back of the backbar shelf. It clocks in at 90 proof. It looks like this is just regular Knob Creek with maple flavoring added (after distilling). Total Wine sells this for $32 for 750 ml. I’ll admit, as much as I like barrel strength monsters and the occasional high-rye kicker, I sometimes also have a soft spot for the flavored whiskies. My favorite is Evan Williams Honey (mmmmm…..). At the $32 that the Knob Creek would cost, I’d buy the Evan Williams Honey (at around $16 or less) almost every time before I’d spend twice as much for this maple flavored Knob Creek.
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