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Knob Creek Single Barrel vs Wild Turkey Rare Breed: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Knob Creek Single Barrel vs Wild Turkey Rare Breed in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

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.

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

  • Aged for at least 9 years.
  • Bottled from single casks, hand-picked based on their final age, rack placement and other proprietary methods.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley; the same used by the Jim Beam White Label.
  • Knob Creek Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

wild-turkey-rare-breed
NoseVanilla, caramel, oak
PalateBaking spice, burnt sugar, vanilla, oak, old leather
FinishVanilla, old leather, oak char
Alcohol content116 proof (58% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWild Turkey 101, Kentucky Spirit, Russell’s 10

On the nose, the Rare Breed comes with a honeyed aroma, along cinnamon, charred oak and very little ethanol.

On the palate, this whiskey offers a good creamy bodypleasing warmth up-front, with butterscotch, brown sugar, vanilla and burnt oak.

The finish is medium to long, warming, rich in vanilla, old leather and the signature charred oak note prevalent in every Wild Turkey release.

It drinks hot as you might expect from something bottled at 116 +/- proof, yet it does not overwhelm as it is sweet and satisfying.

In fact, it drinks incredibly nicely as it has a solid texture and nice sweetness well balanced against oaky and spicy notes.

This Rare Breed Bourbon is one of the best in its class and it tastes better than bottles priced twice as much making it a champ in terms of value and the best Wild Turkey for the money.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey Rare Breed

  • Rare Breed is barrel-proof, meaning it’s uncut, bottled directly from the barrels at the proof it reached in those barrels.
  • This whiskey was bottled without water-dilution.
  • Rare Breed is a blend of whiskeys aged between 6 and 8 years and 12 years.
  • This whisky was not chill-filtered, this is a common practice among the industry as it prevents the liquid from becoming hazy, but some purists assure that the filtering also removes precious tasting notes from the dram.
  • The mash bill is made from 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
  • Wild Turkey belongs to the Campari Group based in Milan, Italy.

Price & Rating comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceRating
Knob Creek Single Barrel$5378
Wild Turkey Rare Breed$5482

Knob Creek Single Barrel vs Wild Turkey Rare Breed: Which is better?

The Rare Breed is a bit smoother and sweeter

WhiskeyKnob Creek Single BarrelRare Breed
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Tough choice as both have much in common. The are made from the mash bill, have similar aging lengths, are aged in oak char, have familiar tasting notes and are full bodied pours. Not to mention price that is practically the same.
  • The Wild Turkey is a bit better as it delivers more sweetness, less burn and a body that feels a tad creamier.
  • But believe me when I say that this is a tough choice. Most consumers wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other in a blind taste.

If you have a different opinion than mine please leave a comment!

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