“This is bourbon the way it used to be. The way it was meant to be.”— Booker Noe
but in January of 1919, the eighteenth amendment was passed and took the boom out of bourbon growth.
Fourteen years later, many distilleries were unable to restart production. The ones that did were financially forced to age their whiskey for shorter periods of time or to resourcefully blend their different whiskies. As a result, Americans developed a taste for softer whiskies, rather than the long-aged, big-flavored straight bourbons of the past.
This is what motivated Booker Noe. He didn’t want just another "run of the mill" new bourbon.
He wanted real bourbon back.
When Booker fathered the small batch movement over two decades ago, he created Knob Creek® to restore the standards of pre-prohibition bourbon. The result is an undeniably big, full flavor that strikes your senses with a maple sugar aroma and distinctive sweetness.
The extra aging, longer than nearly every other small batch offering, allows our bourbon to absorb more of the sugar from the wood, giving it a richer taste. And treating our American white oak barrels with the highest char level brings out even more distinctive flavor qualities during the aging process.
When it's all done, we take our original Knob Creek Bourbon from barrel to bottle at an honest 100 proof, and our Single Barrel Reserve at 120 proof, just like it was done before prohibition.
Knob Creek was the most honored and decorated small batch bourbon portfolio in 2012.
Booker named Knob Creek after the small stream that flows through President Abraham Lincoln's childhood home in Kentucky. Lincoln's genuine Kentucky character and unwavering stance was the perfect representation of the values Booker took when creating Knob Creek Bourbon. We like to think of it as the rebirth of honest bourbon
Our squat, apothecary-like bottle was fashioned after the turn-of-the century bourbon bottle sold throughout Kentucky. The label is inspired by the decades-old custom of wrapping finished bottles in newspaper at the distillery.
Original family recipes, centuries-old bourbon experience, and passionate craftsmanship, and adherence to the family's pre-prohibition standards all combine to give Knob Creek its unique character and flavors.
Booker is a legend. The big man who talked like a Kentuckian and thought like a philosopher had a contagious personality. People couldn't resist him. He joined the family business in 1950 and turned out to be a quick study. Ten years later he became master distiller.
Booker may have been born a Noe, but Beam runs in his blood — his mother was Jim Beam's daughter. He introduced small batch bourbon to the public with his landmark Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection featured the first super-premium bourbons, established the term "small batch" and revolutionized the industry.
Booker Noe created Knob Creek as a reminder of bourbon's past. It's a reflection of the strength, flavor and patience that defined pre-prohibition bourbon.
Fred Noe is a man filled with love for bourbon, and he shares it with everyone he meets. He's a no-nonsense, straight shooter and as genuine as they come. Filling his father's shoes was only natural. Booker taught Fred everything he knew about bourbon, making him well suited for the job of distiller of the small batch bourbons.
Over the years, he's studied the craft closely, overseeing the production of Knob Creek® and the rest of The Original Small Batch Collection. He also spreads his enthusiasm for our signature flavors all around the globe, including official debates with the Irish and Scots on what makes bourbon the best whiskey in the world. Fred is one-of-a-kind and he gives you a true understanding of the passion that goes into every bottle of our bourbon.
"I've learned the business pretty much top to bottom," he says. "From working at the plant and listening to my father, I know what it takes to make a good bourbon — it's part science, part art and all pride. Every bottle we produce is a reflection of my family, so I know it has to be perfect."