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Four Roses Single Barrel vs Knob Creek Single Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Four Roses Single Barrel vs Knob Creek Single Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Four Roses Single Barrel

NoseBaking spice, cherry, vanilla, honey
PalateCinnamon, rye spice, vanilla, honey
FinishMedium; caramel, baking spice, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toFour Roses Small Batch, Russell’s SB

Nose is delicate, rich in baking spice, cherry and honeyed vanilla.

On the palate, the Four Roses Single Barrel has tingling rye spice up-front with a hint of cinnamon giving way to fruity notes, honey, vanilla and a tad of oak, with a creamy feel to it.

The finish has a medium-length, rich in sweet and cinnamon notes and pleasantly warm.

The Four Roses Single Barrel also carries high rye presence in the mash and it feels as the first sips are quite spicy.

But as you grow accustomed it becomes sweeter, showing rich fruity notes, along vanilla and honey making it entirely pleasing.

It bites a bit, which is understandable for something bottled at 100 proof, but its complex and layered flavor profile makes up for it providing a very good pour. Price point makes this an easy sell.

This whiskey is the best Four Roses Bourbon so you get an idea of how good it is!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Four Roses Single Barrel:

  • Made from a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Single Barrel is bottled from casks aged between 8 and 9 years.
  • Uses a proprietary yeast culture used to ferment the mash producing rich fruity notes.
  • Won the Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Four Roses is owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan.

Knob Creek Single Barrel

NoseFruit, maple, caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts
PalateNuts, fruit, baking spice, vanilla, oak
FinishWarming, sweet and spicy, oak
Alcohol content120 proof (60% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toKnob Creek 12, Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Nose is sweet, rich in maple syrup, vanilla and a bit of ethanol. Palate kicks off with a buttery body and pleasant heat on the tongue.

Flavor is mostly sweet, with hints of nuts, baking spice, vanilla, oak and a hint the peanut note of every single whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

The finish is long, rich in cinnamon and vanilla with a tad of oak spice.

The Knob Creek Single Barrel is a high proof bourbon that does not drink as such, rewarding you with pleasing warmth along sweetness well balanced against oak char. 

It drinks nicely neat yet a few drops of water bring brown sugar while tuning down the oak spice. It has a nice lasting finish and a lot to appreciate making an entirely satisfying dram.

The 120 proof can be intimidating for some but believe me that the Knob Creek is supremely drinkable. One or two drops of water are enough to tune it down making it easier to drink.

There are a few facts worth knowing abouth the Knob Creek Single Barrel:

  • Aged for at least 9 years.
  • Bottled from single casks, hand-picked based on their final age, rack placement and other proprietary methods.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley.
  • Won a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012.
  • Knob Creek is one of the many offsprings from Jim Beam which in turn is owned by Beam Suntory from Japan.

Four Roses SB vs Knob Creek SB: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Four Roses Single Barrel$47
Knob Creek Single Barrel$52

Four Roses Single Barrel vs Knob Creek Single Barrel: Which is better?

Four Roses if you like a spicy hit

  • These whiskeys are two of the best Single Barrel Bourbon so you can’t go wrong with them.
  • Four Roses is a better choice who like rye spice which you can find in abundance but well balanced against sweet notes.
  • I’m not particularly fond of spending this much in a whiskey to make cocktails but the high proof and the rye spiciness can deliver a tasty Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.
  • The Knob Creek has a higher proof that does not feel and is richer in oak, nicely balanced against baking spice and sweetness.

Personally, I prefer the Knob Creek as the additional proof adds body and a bit of pleasing heat that warms the chest, but the Four Roses is hard to dismiss.

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