Skip to Content

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Knob Creek: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Maker’s Mark 46 vs Knob Creek in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Maker’s Mark 46

makers-mark-46-french-oaked
NoseOak, cherry, vanilla, fruity notes
PalateOak, cherry, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium-length, oak, cherry, spice
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toMaker’s Mark 101, Four Roses SB

Maker’s Mark (Best Bottle) is one of the few bourbons made from a mash using wheat as secondary grain behind corn as opposed to rye.

In general, wheated bourbons tend to be smoother and sweeter.

Maker’s Mark 46 is the same bourbon as the classic Maker’s Mark but better tasting as the 46 is made by taking fully aged traditional Maker’s Mark at cask strength and inserting specially seared French oak staves into the barrels.

This process added a notorious oaky hint to the bourbon that goes from the nose to the finish, while adding more vanilla and a more refined and tasty version of the old good Maker’s Mark.

The bourbon finishes aging for around 6 months before bottling.

Nose of oak, caramel, vanilla and subtle fruity notes.

Taste is rich in oak at first but the vanilla comes in quick and delivers a really nice taste to it. It stays creamy and moves into a cherry flavor with some caramel.

The finish is long with very little warmth, with oaky notes, cherry and a tad of spice.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Maker’s Mark 46:

  • Aged for around 6 and a half years.
  • Made using the traditional Maker’s Mark corn, red winter wheat and barley mash bill.
  • Maker’s bottles stand out from the rest due to the red wax seal that is still made by hand nowadays.

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 toElijah Craig, Four Roses

The Knob Creek (Similar Bourbons) is made using the same mash as the classic Jim Beam, the difference lies in the KC receiving a lengthier aging in highly charred oak barrels and bottled at a higher proof.

This makes it taste much better than Jim Beam.

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 creamy feel, is pleasantly warm with more vanilla and oak, along chocolate and the peanut hint that you find in every whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

The finish is long and warming and supremely drinkable at 100 proof with plento appreciate.

Knob Creek (Best Whiskey) is smooth, rounded and tasty, incredibly good without any off-notes, with a buttery body. This bourbon does not drink as a 100 proof as it has no harshness or bad bite, it goes down easy.

The best way of drinking the Knob Creek is neat or straight. If you want to make it more tasty add a drop of of water releasing sweet notes making it more enjoyable.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Knob Creek:

  • It was launched in 1992 as part of Jim Beam Small Batch Collection showing a 9 year age statement.
  • The age statement was removed in 2016 but made a comeback in April 2020.
  • Knob Creek ages for 9 years in white oak barrels with the maximum possible char.
  • Knob Creek Bourbon was created by Booker Noe, who after joining Jim Beam in 1950 was promoted to Master Distiller just ten years later.

Difference between Maker’s Mark 46 and Knob Creek

The difference lies in the mash

BourbonCornWheatRyeBarley
Maker’s Mark 46701614
Knob Creek751312
*Approximate values

What do Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek have in common?

Owned by the same parent company

  • These brands are owned by Beam Suntory, along Jim Beam, which in turn is owned by Japan-based Suntory Holdings.
  • Knob Creek is crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery while Maker’s is made at its own distillery.

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Knob Creek: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

BourbonPrice
Maker’s Mark 46$29
Knob Creek$35

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Knob Creek: Which is better?

Maker’s Mark is surprisingly good for its price

WhiskeyMaker’s 46Knob Creek
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Maker’s Mark is a huge upgrade over the regular Maker’s Mark as the additional aging made it more tasty.
  • Additionally, it carries a bit more proof providing more body and overall a better whiskey.
  • I still prefer the Knob Creek, though, as it’s more robust and tasty and bottled at a high proof that does not feel providing a good experience from nose to finish.