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

Discover the differences between Knob Creek 9 Year vs Knob Creek Single Barrel 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, Jack Daniel’s

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 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:

  • 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 mashbill.
  • Knob Creek Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.
  • It is named for small water source in Kentucky close to where Abraham Lincoln grew up, it is said that the creek nearly claimed his life when he was swimming.

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 toKnob Creek 12, Four Roses Single Barrel

Nose is sweet, rich in maple syrup, vanilla and a bit of ethanol. Palate kicks off with a buttery body and pleasant heat on the tongue.

Flavor is mostly sweet, with hints of nuts, baking spice, vanilla, oak and a hint the peanut note of every single whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

The finish is long, rich in cinnamon and vanilla with a tad 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 and a lot to appreciate making an entirely satisfying dram.

The 120 proof can be intimidating for some but believe me that the Knob Creek is supremely drinkable. One or two drops of water are enough to tune it down making it easier to drink.

Consider further options by reading my post: Discover the Best Single Barrel Bourbon.

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

  • Bottled at 120 proof but may vary from batch to batch as it bottled at proof, meaning it does not get watered down before bottling.
  • Aged for at least 9 years.
  • 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.

What’s the differences between Knob Creek 9 Year and Single Barrel?

There are two differences between these whiskeys:

  • The 9 Year is a small-batch bourbon using a limited number of barrels resulting in a blended spirit. The single barrels are bottled using exclusively one barrel chosen by the Master Distiller.
  • The Single Barrel is drawn from only one barrel and bottled at proof, meaning, that it was not diluted with water resulting in a bolder whiskey with more body.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Knob Creek 9 Year$38
Knob Creek Single Barrel$53

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

The Single Barrel offers a bolder experience

WhiskeyKnob CreekSingle Barrel
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Single Barrel offers most of the flavors of the traditional Knob Creek just that turned up a few notches.
  • This bourbon is more tasty and complex, with a better body as it did not go through dilution before bottling.
  • Always keep in mind that went a bourbon or any other spirit are not bottled at proof means that they have been diluted with water. This waters-down the whiskey, removing some nice flavors while making it thin.
  • The Single Barrel drinks warm, as you might expect, but it drinks quite nicely and can easily be tamed using a large ice ball.

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