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Knob Creek 9 Year vs Knob Creek 12 Year: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Knob Creek 9 Year vs Knob Creek 12 Year in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Knob Creek 9 Year

knob-creek-9
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 toWoodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark

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 thick 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 at the Jim Beam Distillery.

The finish is long and warming and supremely drinkable at 100 proof and has plenty to appreciate.

Knob Creek is amazingly solid without any off-notes, with a thick creamy body that you can almost chew.

Knob Creek (Similar Bourbons) 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.

I’m not so fond of using the Knob Creek to make cocktails as I prefer something more spicy to make cocktails.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Knob Creek 9 Year:

  • It was launched in 1992 as part of Jim Beam Small Batch Collection showing a 9 year age statement.
  • The age statement was removed in 2016 but made a comeback in April 2020.
  • Knob Creek ages for 9 years 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 mashbill.

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 15, Knob Creek Single Barrel

The nose is sweet, with a nice 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 dark chocolate, cherry, oak, and the signature peanut note of the whiskeys crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

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

The Knob Creek 12 drinks nicely although it offers most of the tasting notes of the 9 YO adding oak due to extended aging. Very little warmth and the same buttery body make it a satisfying pour.

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.

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

  • Made from the same mash bill as the 9 Year.
  • 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.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Knob Creek 9$46
Knob Creek 12$72

Knob Creek 9 vs Knob Creek 12: Which is better?

3 years of aging added oak and a drier finish

  • The difference between these bourbon lies in the additional oaky note that the 12 YO got from the additional aging, along a drier finish.
  • If you are fond of oak you are going to like the Knob Creek 12 but I prefer the 9 YO as it feels better balanced as the sweetness and the chocolate hints are more present with oak just as a secondary actor.
  • Personally, I did not find the Knob Creek 12 to be that good making me think is not worth the upcharge. But maybe you have a different opinion so please leave a comment.

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