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Knob Creek vs Wild Turkey 101: Head to Head

Discover the differences between Knob Creek vs Wild Turkey 101 in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Knob Creek 9 Year Straight Bourbon

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 toFour Roses, Bulleit, Larceny

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 buttery 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 by Jim Beam.

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 there 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.

Serves well in cocktails although I prefer the Knob Creek Rye for mixing as the spice from the rye grain delivers more tasty cocktails.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Knob Creek Bottle where I rank every release.

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 bill.
  • Knob Creek Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.

Wild Turkey 101

NoseOak, honey, caramel, vanilla
PalateVanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, mint
FinishLong, caramel, charred oak, old leather
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toBulleit, Rare Breed, Buffalo Trace

On the nose the Turkey 101 is sweet, with hints of honey, caramel and vanilla along a charred oak note.

It offers a nice mouthfeel as it has a buttery feel, a bit warm at first, giving way to vanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, hazelnuts and a light touch of mint.

The finish is medium to long, pleasantly warm, high in charred oak as all Wild Turkey bourbons and a satisfying note of old leather.

Wild Turkey 101 strikes a solid balance between oak spice, old leather and sweet notes, it is complex but yet easy to drink with quite a pleasant finish.

This is good tasty bourbon that gives a moderate yet pleasing burn; add a large ice ball if you want it go down easy.

The Wild Turkey 101 is one of the best bourbons in terms of value, it goes head to head with much pricier and elite bottles making it a no-brainer.

If you have tried the regular Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon you are going to find the 101 to be a huge upgrade.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey 101:

  • Mash bill is comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
  • This whiskey ages for no less than 5 years in heavily charred casks.
  • Wild Turkey barrels its whiskey at a lower entry-proof, meaning the spirit is a lower proof as it comes off the still prior to maturing; that lower entry proof allows to more flavor from the grains.
  • The whiskey is pulled from the barrel at 109 proof before being proofed down a notch.
  • The 101 won a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Knob Creek vs Wild Turkey 101: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knob Creek 9 Year$38
Wild Turkey 101 $27

Knob Creek 9 Year vs Wild Turkey 101: Which is better?

The Knob Creek is a better rounded bourbon

WhiskeyKnob CreekWild Turkey 101
  • The Knob Creek feels more refined than the Turkey as the additional aging removed some hard edges, while adding toasty oak making it entirely satisfying.
  • Both are smoother than what the 100 proof might suggest making them easy drinkers.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a bourbon to make cocktails then I suggest you stay with the Wild Turkey as its price makes it a champ in terms of value.

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