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Elijah Craig vs Knob Creek: Discover the Better

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Knob Creek 9 Year in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Elijah Craig Small Batch

elijah-craig-small-batch-marcas-de-whisky
NoseWood, chocolate, cinnamon, clove
PalateChocolate, wood, butterscotch, citrus
FinishOak spice, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, vanilla
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace

Nose offers oak at first, followed by a hint of chocolate, cinnamon and clove.

On the palate, you get oak spice up-front, with a hint of bitter chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla and a tad of citrus.

The finish feels a bit warm as you get a hit of ethanol and a spicy bite rich in cinnamon, black pepper and clove with some butterscotch sweetness coming late to the party.

Elijah Craig has a nice nose, a good taste but it lets you down on the finish as it feels warm and spicy.

It becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter and loses some of the heat along the peppery bite.

Is not a bad bourbon by any means, barely making it to the sipper category but definitely needs more persistence than the average bourbon in this price range.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Elijah Craig Bourbon where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Elijah Craig:

  • Elijah Craig is credited as the first distiller to use heavily charred casks to age bourbon.
  • It is made from a mash bill comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley. 
  • It is bottled by blending no less than 200 casks of maturing bourbon, each of which was rested in a Kentucky rickhouse for a minimum of 8 years.
  • This whiskey previously had an age statement of 12 years but in 2016 the age statement was removed to extend its availability.
  • The distiller also increased the maximum number of barrels used per batch from 100 to 200.
  • Elijah Craig is produced by Heaven Hills Distilleries, a private, American family-owned and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Knob Creek 9 Year

knob-creek-9
NoseCherry, vanilla, caramel, rye spice, oak
PalateVanilla, oak, cherry, chocolate, peanuts
FinishLong, vanilla, banana, baking spices
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace

Nose brings cherry up-front, followed by vanilla, caramel, oak and and a spicy note from the rye.

On the palate the Knob Creek offers a thick texture showing a creamy body.

First sip feels pleasantly warm with more vanilla and oak, along chocolate, a cherry note and the peanut note of the whiskeys crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

The finish is long and warming and supremely drinkable at 100 proof and has plenty to appreciate.

Knob Creek (Similar Bourbons) is amazingly solid without any off-notes, with a thick creamy body that you can almost chew.

Knob Creek is bottled at 100 proof, making it a high proof spirit, but it goes down nicely as their is no harshness or bad bite in this bourbon. I can’t recommend it enough.

The best way of drinking the Knob Creek is neat or straight. If you want to make it more tasty add a few drops of water allowing rich floral notes to emerge while making it more enjoyable.

I’m not so fond of using the Knob Creek to make cocktails as I prefer something more spicy to make cocktails.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Knob Creek:

  • It was originally launched in 1992 as part of Jim Beam Small Batch Collection with a 9 year age statement.
  • The age statement was removed in 2016 but made a comeback in April 2020.
  • Knob Creek ages in white oak barrels with the maximum possible char.
  • The mash bill is made from 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley; Jim Beam uses the same mash.
  • Knob Creek Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.
  • It is named for small water source in Kentucky close to where Abraham Lincoln grew up, it is said that the creek nearly claimed his life when he was swimming.
  • Knob Creek is part of Jim Beam which belongs to Beam Suntory a Japanese drinks giant.

Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Knob Creek: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Elijah Craig$34
Knob Creek$37

Elijah Craig vs Knob Creek: Which is better

The Knob Creek makes a more satisfying bourbon

WhiskeyKnob CreekElijah Craig
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Knob Creek is entirely better than the Elijah Craig. It has a better body, has more proof but feels less warm, and is packed with very nice tasting notes making it incredibly satisfying and one of the best bourbons at this price range.
  • The only let down is the light peanut note present in all the whiskeys crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.
  • Elijah Craig is not bad, is just that the finish feels warm and full of oak spice, although you can improve it widely with a drop of water.

Consider further options by reading my post: Discover the Best Knob Creek Bottle where I rank every release.

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