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Knob Creek Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Knob Creek Rye vs Sazerac 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 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 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.
  • Crafted at the Jim Distillery, property of Beam Suntory.

Sazerac Rye

NoseVanilla, cherry, mint
PalateVanilla, mint, anise, oak, baking spice
FinishShort, oak, mint
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toTempleton Rye, Bulleit Rye

The Sazerac Rye makes a good alternative to the Buffalo Trace as they are both made at the same distillery with the Sazerac carrying more rye in the mash.

This makes the Sazerac Rye taste like a spicy version of the Buffalo Trace.

The nose starts off with some sweet hints of vanilla, cherry and the minty notes you expect to find in a Rye whiskey.

On the palate the sweet notes continue but then the pepper and spice notes start to take over. The mouthfeel is thin, but not in an unpleasant way, almost silky.

The only let down is the finish which ends quickly leaving oak and mint behind.

It’s sweet and spicy, as you’d expect from a pleasant rye. It doesn’t shock nor wow, but it’s very solid and quite easy to sip.

Overall, the Sazerac Rye (Substitutes) is a nice and easy sipping whiskey, easier on the spice than most rye whiskeys as this only carries around 51% rye in the mash.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Sazerac Rye:

  • The Sazerac Rye does not longer carry an age statement but is matured for 6 years.
  • Produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, KY.
  • Sazerac is named after the Sazerac Coffee House on Royal Street in New Orleans.
  • The Sazerac company is a privately-owned American company headquartered in Louisiana.

Knob Creek Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knob Creek Rye$35
Sazerac Rye$20

Knob Creek Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Which is better?

The Sazerac Rye offers great value for the money

WhiskeyKnob Creek RyeSazerac Rye
  • The Sazerac Rye is hard to beat for its price. This is a smooth, pleasant and yet tasty whiskey with mild rye spice with little to no burn.
  • It has a cognac-like finish making a great sipper either neat or over an ice-ball.
  • For the price is hard to find a better mixer making the Sazerac a more versatile and affordable dram than the Knob Creek.

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