If you’re still investing in just stocks and bonds, you might want to look into a market that’s simply exploding: the aged spirits market. With the explosion of demand in the Asian market for very old whiskey, scotch, and wine and just about anything else that’s been sitting around in barrels for decades, the prices are skyrocketing while supplies are shrinking. It is not unheard of for a bottle that was selling for $100.00 just a few years ago to be going for over $1,000.00 today. That’s a really, really good return on investment but only if you are strong enough to keep from drinking your profits.

And speaking of that shrinking supply of really old spirits, have you noticed that age statements on bottles of just about everything are disappearing. It’s not that the distillers are trying to play fast and footloose with their supplies; they are trying to provide consumers with the same taste profiles they are used to while using different combinations of younger spirits. A case in point is this bottle of Knob Creek Rye that proudly states on its label “patiently aged”. Now, Knob Creek is known for ageing its spirits for around nine years, so why don’t they state something of the kind on this bottle? Their other Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon states on the bottle “patiently crafted.” Don’t get me wrong. Knob Creek has a sterling reputation for producing fine spirits in small batches, and they have won all sorts of awards and accolades, and I’m sure they are increasing production, and this is just a symptom of a rapidly growing marketplace of consumers who want the absolute best and are willing to pay for it. On the other hand, their other two spirits both state “aged 9 years”.


I’m growing old just talking about all this, so let’s get down to tasting this “patiently aged” Rye Whiskey. It comes in a 750ML hip type flask that I sincerely doubt will fit anybody’s hip pocket unless your 10 feet tall and have seriously deep hip pockets. You will also have to exercise some “patience” getting through all that black wax that covers the entire neck of the bottle. The color is a dark amber and the nose is a wonderful mélange of rye, oak, caramel and vanilla – yum. Surprisingly enough, the alcohol vapors are really at a minimum and quite laid back for a 100 proof spirit. On the palate, it is actually very docile and features the rye and oak up front followed by a hint of spice and berries. The finish is as dramatic as a Fourth of July fireworks display. The oak and spiciness take center stage, immediately followed by pepper that leaves a spicy throat for a good long time. This is an excellent rye, and I actually don’t give a damn how long it sat in a barrel; it’s just that good.

Knob Creek Rye can be found for around $39.99 per 750ML bottle and is 100 proof.


By George Brozowski