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Knob Creek 12 vs Knob Creek Single Barrel: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Knob Creek 12 vs Knob Creek Single Barrel in this head to head comparison and decide which is better for You!

Knob Creek 12 Year

knob-creek-12
NoseRoasted peanuts, caramel, oak, brown sugar
PalateOak spice, dark chocolate, peanuts, cherry
FinishCherry, chocolate, black pepper
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toKnob Creek 9, Knob Creek 15, Weller 12

The nose is sweet, with a nice roasted peanuts hint, followed by caramel, brown sugar and wood. On the palate, you don’t get as much sweetness as in the nose as you get slapped with oak spice at first.

As you let it develop you get rewarded with bitter chocolate, cherry, oak, and the signature peanut note of every single release crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery!

The finish is long, a bit drying, rich in oak, with hints of chocolate and cherry and a drizzle of black pepper on the tail.

The Knob Creek 12 drinks nicely although it has more oak spice than I would like.

If you have tasted the 9 YO you are gonna find many tasting notes in common but be aware that this one is way richer in oak due to the additional 3 year aging.

Best way of drinking the 12 YO is neat, adding water makes it a bit sweeter but brings more oak making it a bit overwhelming, thus adding a large ice ball is a better choice.

Not a bad bourbon but if you are in the market for a 12 YO Bourbon I suggest looking at the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof which is superior to this.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Knob Creek 12:

  • Made from a mash bill comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • Originally released as a limited edition in the fall of 2019, but became a permanent addition to Knob Creek’s lineup in 2020.
  • Knob Creek takes its name from the water stream that ran through Abe Lincoln’s childhood farm.

Knob Creek Single Barrel

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 toFour Roses SB, 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 good heat on the tongue. Flavor is mostly sweet, with hints of nuts, baking spice, vanilla, oak and a hint of peanut.

The finish is long, rich in cinnamon and vanilla with a bit 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 making an entirely satisfying dram.

The 120 proof can be intimidating for some but believe me that this 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 about 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 Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Knob Creek 12 Year$72
Knob Creek Single Barrel$53

Knob Creek 12 vs Knob Creek Single Barrel: Which is better?

Single Barrel has a better balance

  • This bourbon is packed with good tasting notes, while delivering a great balance, pleasant warmth and a creamy body, but most importantly, a good experience from end to end.
  • This is a high proof bourbon that feels a tad warm but nothing terrible that can easily be tuned down with a dash of water. It also provides great value for the money.
  • The 12 YO is not bad, is just that the additional aging provided too much oak overwhelming other notes.

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