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Knob Creek Rye vs Old Overholt Rye: Which Wins?

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

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 toBulleit Rye, Woodford 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.

The nose brings the same cherry note as the Knob Creek Bourbon 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 good 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.

Old Overholt Rye

NoseMint, rye spice, oak
PalateRye spice, mint, vanilla, oak
FinishCaramel vanilla
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toOld Overholt Bonded

The nose is pleasantly sweet with a hint of mint and oak.

On the palate, the Old Overholt displays a thin body as it feels watered-down. Flavor is moderately spicy, rich in oak, mint and vanilla.

The finish is short-lived, a bit warm, but nothing terrible, with some caramel and vanilla notes.

The Old Overholt is an easy drinker, mild on the spice due to the low rye presence in the mash. The thin body is a let-down although it has some pleasing warmth on the finish making a decent sipper.

This is not the best mixing whiskey for cocktails as the thin body, the low-proof and the mild rye spice don’t add much value to a cocktail.

This is a very basic rye whiskey that might make a good choice to get introduced into this type of whiskey due to its affordable price.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Overholt Rye:

  • Aged for 3 years in oak barrels.
  • The distiller does not disclose the percentages of grains used in the mash but the Old Overholt only carries around 51-60% of rye.
  • Henry Overholser was a German Mennonite farmer who moved to Pennsylvania in the 1800s.

What to Knob Creek and Old Overholt have in common?

Both are crafted by Beam Suntory

These brands belong to the Beam Suntory company headquartered in Japan. Beam Suntory has a an extensive portfolio of brands that includes: Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, Old Grand Dad, Old Overholt, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Sauza Tequila, among several others.

Knob Creek Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knob Creek Rye$35
Old Overholt Rye$17

Knob Creek Rye vs Old Overholt Rye: Which is better?

Knob Creek is a more rewarding whiskey

  • The Knob Creek is a more satisfying sip as it pretty much drinks like a spicy version of the regular Knob Creek Bourbon.
  • This is a smooth, yet tasty whiskey that doesn’t drinks as a 100 proof release.
  • Well balanced, with the right tasting notes that you expect from a good rye whiskey.

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