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Jim Beam Rye vs Knob Creek Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Jim Beam Rye vs Knob Creek Rye in this head to head comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Jim Beam Rye

NoseRye spice, black pepper, cherry
PalateRye spice, licorice, mint, caramel
FinishWarm, spice, vanilla
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toJack Daniel’s Rye, Bulleit Rye

The nose is a blast of rye spice and black pepper, as you let it develop a faint cherry note appears.

On the palate, the Jim Beam Rye offers a thin body and kicks-off with more rye spice, followed by hints of mint and licorice, along a bit of caramel sweetness.

The finish is short-lived, warm with hints of cinnamon, oak spice and black pepper making it quite spicy.

If I had to summarize the Jim Beam Rye in a few words I would say: “It tastes like a spicy Jim Beam White Label“, which in turn is not the best sip.

Definitely not a sipping whiskey and would rather choose other options before this when looking for an affordable mixer.

Too peppery and somewhat harsh with better options at this price point.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Jim Beam Rye:

  • Jim Beam claims that this whiskey is crafted using an old Pre-Prohibition recipe, although they don’t disclose much information about it or about how the mash bill is comprised.
  • Does not have an statement but it was aged for around 4 years in American oak barrels.

Knob Creek Rye

NoseCherry, rye spice, oak
PalateOak, cherry, tobacco
FinishCaramel, old leather, dried fruit
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye, Templeton Rye

Knob Creek is a “barely legal” rye whiskey as it only has a bit over the minimum of this spicy grain to belong to this category.

This makes it taste like a spicy version of the regular Knob Creek.

The nose brings the same cherry note as the Knob Creek Bourbon along notes of rye spice and toasty oak.

On the palate you get some rye spiciness while the high corn content in the mash makes it sweet. It has a thick oily mouthfeel and a flavor rich in oak, cherries and nice caramel with little to no burn.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, rich in cinnamon, brown sugar, dried fruit and a faint rubber note lurking in the back.

The Knob Creek achieves a decent balance of spice, wood and dark fruit. It drinks nicely straight out of the bottle, with a splash of water, or after letting it breathe for a few minutes as it seems to improve over time.

The thick creamy body gives additional points to this dram and the fact that it does not drink like a 100 proof bottle as it has very little burn.

Overall, the Knob Creek Rye makes a good option for those who want to enjoy a good Rye Whiskey with moderate rye spice or a “ryed bourbon” as I would call it.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Knob Creek Rye:

  • The contents in the mash are not disclosed but the rye content is just over the minimum of 51% required by law.
  • This whiskey is labeled as “Patiently Aged” which is the nice way of implying that it does not have an age statement.
  • Won “Best Rye Worldwide Whiskey” at the 2016 International Wine and Spirits Competition.

What do Jim Beam Rye and Knob Creek Rye have in common?

Both crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery

Both brands belong to Beam Suntory headquartered in Japan. Beam Suntory has a an extensive portfolio of brands that includes: Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, Old Grand Dad, Old Overholt, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Sauza Tequila, among several others.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Jim Beam Rye$19
Knob Creek Rye$35

Jim Beam Rye vs Knob Creek Rye: Which is better?

Knob Creek provides a better experience

WhiskeyKnob Creek RyeJim Beam Rye
  • The Knob Creek is better which is not an achievement as the Jim Beam Rye tastes like rocket fuel.
  • Yet the Knob Creek is a nice sipper as it tastes like its Bourbon sibling but with a spicy touch.
  • In terms of value might not be the best as there are better options such as the Rittenhouse Rye and the Old Forester Rye that provide more bang on the buck.

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