Consumer curiosity about bourbon and American whiskey has rocketed in recent years, according to Rob Nelson, brand manager of small batch bourbon at Beam Inc, which owns Kentucky-based Knob Creek.
Speaking with BeverageDaily.com, Nelson pinpointed the popularity of prohibition period-set movies and TV shows, such as Boardwalk Empire, as a key driver of this demand.
“Today, consumer interest in pre-prohibition, high-proof spirits has seen a resurgence thanks in part to the popularity of shows like ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and movies like ‘The Great Gatsby’,” he said.
“Stays true” to pre-prohibition style spirits
Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon, which was created in honor of company founder, Booker Noe, was launched in the US last month. According to the brand, the development incorporates the “big, full flavor of Knob Creek Bourbon along with hints of maple and a touch of smoke.”
“Knob Creek decided to unveil Smoked Maple because we wanted to create a flavored whiskey that stays true to the pre-prohibition style spirits, while also celebrating Booker’s favorite flavors that pair well with our big bourbon,” said Nelson.
“With a honest 90 proof, the big, full flavor Knob Creek is known for and the added touch of smoke and maple, we have created a truly unique flavored expression – unlike anything else available today – that lives up to Booker’s tradition and Knob Creek’s name.”
Through the launch, Knob Creek now boasts a four product bourbon portfolio, which also includes the brand's Single Barrel Reserve, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and Rye Whiskey offerings.
“Introduce new fans into the family”
Knob Creek is the latest in a growing line of bourbon brands to break tradition and introduce a flavored offering.
Following in the footsteps of Beam Inc’s Red Stag bourbon range, and Campari’s recently-launched Wild Turkey Spiced, Knob Creek hopes to introduce bourbon to a wider, younger range of consumers.
“We see Knob Creek Smoked Maple as an opportunity for bourbon drinkers to experience a new flavor profile, while still enjoying the bourbon standards that Booker helped create and Knob Creek has always represented,” said Nelson.
“We certainly expect Knob Creek Bourbon fans to enjoy this new product as it offers new ways to experience Knob Creek, however we also see great opportunity for our innovations, including Knob Creek Smoked Maple and Knob Creek Rye, to help introduce new fans into the family.”
“We think the demand for different types of whiskey offerings will continue to grow and sustain over the years as interest in bourbon and American whiskey continues to grow across the globe,” he added.