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Knob Creek Bourbon vs Knob Creek Rye: Which is Better?

Discover the differences between Knob Creek Bourbon vs Knob Creek Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for You!

Knob Creek 9 Year Old 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 toWoodford Reserve, Bulleit Bourbon

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 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.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Knob Creek:

  • Bottled at 100 proof.
  • 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.

Knob Creek Rye

NoseCherry, rye spice, oak
PalateOak, cherry, tobacco
FinishCaramel, old leather, dried fruit
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWoodford Reserve Rye, Bulleit Rye

Knob Creek is a “barely legal” rye whiskey as it only has a bit over the minimum of this spicy grain to belong to this category.

This makes it taste like a spicy version of the regular Knob Creek Bourbon.

The nose brings the same cherry note as the regular Knob Creek along notes of rye spice and toasty oak.

On the palate you get some rye spiciness while the high corn content in the mash makes it sweet. It has a thick oily mouthfeel and a flavor rich in oak, cherries and nice caramel with little to no burn.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, rich in cinnamon, brown sugar, dried fruit and a faint rubber note lurking in the back.

The Knob Creek achieves a decent balance of spice, wood and dark fruit. It drinks nicely straight out of the bottle, with a splash of water, or after letting it breathe for a few minutes as it seems to improve over time.

The thick creamy body gives additional points to this dram and the fact that it does not drink like a 100 proof bottle as it has very little burn.

Overall, the Knob Creek Rye makes a good option for those who want to enjoy a solid Rye Whiskey with moderate rye spice or a “ryed bourbon” as I would call it.

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

  • The contents in the mash are not disclosed but the rye content is just over the minimum of 51% required by law.
  • This whiskey is labeled as “Patiently Aged” which is the nice way of implying that it does not have an age statement.
  • Won “Best Rye Worldwide Whiskey” at the 2016 International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Knob Creek Bourbon vs Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knob Creek Bourbon$38
Knob Creek Rye$38

Knob Creek Bourbon vs Knob Creek Rye: Which is better?

Knob Creek Bourbon beats its Rye sibling

WhiskeyKC BourbonKC Rye
  • Knob Creek Rye adds subtle spice to the regular bourbon not making it particularly more interesting.
  • It still makes a better option when in the mood for cocktails with mild spice.
  • Yet, I prefer the Bourbon as a sipper which is well balanced, tasty and smooth delivering a very nice everyday bourbon whose high proof does not feel as it drinks quite nicely.

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