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Knob Creek 12 vs Weller 12: Which Wins?

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

Knob Creek 12

NoseRoasted peanuts, caramel, oak, brown sugar
PalateOak spice, dark chocolate, peanuts, cherry, oak
FinishCherry, chocolate and black pepper
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toKnob Creek 15, Knob Creek Single Barrel

As you might already know the Knob Creek is crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery using the same mash as the regular Jim Beam.

The difference lies in the extended aging (12 years vs 4) and the use of highly charred oak barrels.

The nose is sweet, with a strong roasted peanuts hint, followed by caramel, brown sugar and oak.

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 and the signature peanut note of every single release crafted by Jim Beam.

The finish is long, a bit drying, rich in oak, with hints of dark chocolate and cherry and a drizzle of dash 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 richer in oak due to the additional 3 year aging.

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

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.

Weller 12

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, oak
PalateCherry, cinnamon, vanilla, oak
FinishCinnamon, caramel, vanilla
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWeller Antique 107, Van Winkle 12

Weller is crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. What makes Weller different to other Buffalo Trace releases such as Blanton’s or Eagle Rare is the use of wheat in the mash as secondary grain.

In general, wheated bourbons tend to be smoother and sweeter than those that use rye in the mash.

Weller has caramel on the nose, followed by a drizzle of cinnamon and oak.

On the palate, Weller 12 displays decent body but far from providing an oily feel. Flavor hits with cherry at first, followed by cinnamon, vanilla and a tad of oak.

The finish has a medium length, rich in cinnamon, with notes of caramel and vanilla.

No warmth or off-putting notes making a nice easy drinker, a bit more proof would make it immensely better, though, as it lacks a bit of punch to make a memorable whiskey.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Weller 12:

  • Aged for 12 years in new, charred American Oak barrels.
  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Knob Creek 12 vs Weller 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knob Creek 12$75
Weller 12$300

Knob Creek 12 vs Weller 12: Which is better?

Weller is good but provides little value for the money

WhiskyKnob Creek 12Weller 12
  • Weller 12 is good, a mature version of the Weller Special Reserve, with more oak to it, although it lacks a bit in body and finish to make it an outstanding whisky and justify its lofty price tag.
  • Weller Antique 107 provides much more value as the added proof brings body while making it a more complex and flavorful bourbon.
  • Knob Creek 12 is good making a polished iteration of the regular Knob Creek as the additional 3 years of aging removed some hard edges.
  • Price point makes the Knob Creek a good whiskey in terms of value and one well worth drinking.