The Bourbon Box
by Darcy O'Neil on August 25, 2012
In the glory days of drink writing (2007-2010) it wasn't uncommon to receive a couple of deliveries from the "booze fairy" every month. Who's the booze fairy you ask? That would be whomever was responsible for dropping free spirits off at my door, usually the Fedex guy. Considering most mail is bills, advertising junk, cease and desist letters and demands to appear in court, getting free alcohol was always a pleasant surprise. However, times have changed and America's "party like it's 2007" spending habits have put a damper on the booze mail. One of the last free samples, and possibly the coolest, came back in 2011 and was sent by Knob Creek. It turns out it just wasn't free bourbon, but something more.
In January 2011 I moved out to a peaceful country house, out in farmland, near a little town called Centralia. I've always liked the outdoors and even though there isn't a bar for miles around, it suits me. It is also a place where my two kids are happy. For those that don't know, I am the proud father of a 3 year old princess and a 5 year old super hero.
Living in the country is great for my kids. The property has a couple of old barns, lots of fruit trees and tons of bugs to catch. And even my daughter loves catching praying mantis' and calls them "cute". There are also tons of discoveries to be made. Objects that an adult would pass over as nothing, children see and find great value in them.
In the winter of 2011, I received a package from Knob Creek containing a beautiful wooden box, with a bottle of Knob Creek 9 year old single barrel bourbon and a couple of rocks glasses. Obviously this was PR material, though way better packaged than most items I've received.
By this point in time I had stopped doing regular spirit reviews. Taste is such a subjective thing, and the Internet has allowed so many people to opine on the subject that I felt my efforts were better directed at other things. The problem was that the PR company had put a decent amount of effort into the package design and I felt a twinge of guilt for not reviewing it. So I put the unopened bottle in my liquor repository and gave the box to my son.
Initially the box held just a few toys, but my son quickly decided that this box was going to be used to house those things that were most valuable to him. For my son it has become his treasure chest of interesting things.
To date the items in the box include feathers, cards, rocks, coins like rubles and euro's that can be found in my suitcase when I unpack and assorted other weird things like a bleached-out opossum bicuspid. There is also the "certificate" collection. When my son started exploring the farm, he would often spot interesting animals/things, so for his efforts I would type up and print a certificate with the image of the animal/thing. Those seem particularly important to him. I do find it interesting to go through the box and see what he has collected.
The great thing about the Knob Creek box is that it is well built and will withstand the test of time. In short order I assume my son will outgrow the box, but when he gets older and it is time to reflect on his life, the box will still be there with his childhood collection of assorted oddities.
I've also decided that I am not going to open the bottle of Knob Creek until my son is old enough to drink, which will be another 14 years or so. Though we all know whiskey doesn't age in the bottle, this is more about making connections and adding value to life. Sometimes we need to look forward to things, just because.
Sorry Knob Creek, I haven't tried your single barrel bourbon but I'm sure it will be fantastic. For me this has become a cool opportunity to enjoy something with my son when he is old enough to drink. Thanks for playing a part in my life.
And for anyone worried that my daughter is missing out on her own treasure chest, do not worry, Tropicana provided a beautiful one-off hand painted box back in 2008.
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