Pair Smoked pigs and pre-prohibition style bourbon for a true Southern American experience
Following the promise of tasting some authentic pre-prohibition style bourbon courtesy of Knob Creek, I found myself in the American smoke house, Meat Smith.
The brick and concrete-themed diner had all the raw fittings of a blacksmith’s workshop, complete with exposed lightbulbs and wrought-iron seats to match a swanky bar counter.
Seated at the wooden communal tables across bottles of Knob Creek’s small batch bourbons, I felt like I’d accidentally gatecrashed a Texan cowboys’ gathering. Little did I know, I was to be schooled on some old-fashioned bourbon cocktails.
For the uninitiated, prohibition in America, which occurred between 1920 to 1933, was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale and production of alcoholic beverages, as an attempt to cure alcoholism. This dark period took the boom out of bourbon growth.
Knob Creek was born out of a desire to restore the standards of pre-prohibition bourbon. Then, bourbon was produced in small quantities, which brought out its full-flavours, maple sugar aromas and distinctive sweetness.
Great on its own, better in a cocktail
With such robust flavours, the best way to showcase Knob Creek’s bourbon would be in a simple yet timeless cocktail like the Old Fashioned.
Guided by the very charming and mustachioed head bartender of Manhattan Bar Ricky Paiva, I created my own Old Fashioned cocktail with the Knob Creek 9 Year Old Bourbon.
Paired with bitters, sugar syrup and a dash of orange peel, the big notes of oak, caramel and fruit from the bourbon shone through. Despite a 50 per cent alcoholic content, the bourbon offered a long and smooth finish with a decent kick.
Piggy and bourbons
Expect deep and complex flavours from this single barrel beauty
As conversation and alcohol flowed freely, so did the hearty South American style pork dishes from Meat Smith as they filled our bellies.
The highlight of our dinner had to be the Suckling Pig with Red Eye Gravy, accompanied by Ham Hock Greens, Slaw, Pickles and Rolls. Prepared Southern style, the meat was cooked tender to the point of falling off and paired perfectly with the sweetness of the Red Eye Gravy. My companions all loved the pig’s well-roasted crackling skin.
We toasted with the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon, which featured deep and complex flavours of vanilla, nuts and oak. With a slightly smokey aroma, it was a good match for our decadently greasy dinner.
We can imagine sipping this with our breakfast
The grand finale of our night was the Knob Creek Smoked Maple, a full-bodied bourbon infused with real maple syrup. With rich notes of vanilla and caramel, I could almost imagine having a glass of this with some freshly-baked waffles.
The range of Knob Creek bourbon (between $130 and $170) is available at The Beam Cellar, located at 229 Mountbatten Road, #01-03 to 07 / #01-17 to 19, Mountbatten Square.
by Samantha Francis