Knob Creek Prices & Buyer’s Guide

A great example of a top-shelf Whiskey that isn’t on the highest shelf of prices is Knob Creek. Produced by the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, about 100 miles west of Bourbon County, Knob Creek’s main varieties are bottled at 100 proof (50% abv), so they pack a bigger punch than most whiskeys bottled between 40 and 45%. While they were originally aged for 9 years in wood, for the past 4 years that remark has been rescinded due to a lack of product from a rise in demand. The company has stated that the 9-year aging minimum is set to return this year, 2020.

In This Guide

The longer aging process brings out more of the sugars from the wood, and the sweetness lends itself well to balancing out the harsher ethanol flavors normally associated with higher proof whiskeys. It is also a little darker in color and has a richer more complex flavor profile than most other Bourbons at the same price point because of the lengthier aging process. While the 9-year minimum is on hold Knob Creek still stands out as the older whiskey as most mainstream Bourbons at this price point are only aged from 3-4 years.

Knob creek bourbon whiskeys

Knob Creek Prices For Their Products

All in all, at around $30-40 for a 750ml on the shelf at your local liquor store, or (in our experience) about eight to ten bucks for a pour at a not-so-great but not-so-crummy bar down the block, Knob Creek is one of the best bangs for your buck in the world of Bourbon and Rye whiskeys. You lose the harsher flavors of its lower-priced competitors from the lengthier aging process but are also avoiding a huge markup from a mid-range product that is over advertised and priced based on social appeal as opposed to flavor content.

TypeBottle SizeProofPrice
Knob Creek 9 Year Whiskey Bourbon750ml100From $29
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey750ml100From $32
Knob Creek Smoked Maple750ml90From $35
Knob Creek Reserve Single Barrel750ml120From $47
Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Rye750ml115From $52
Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon Whiskey750ml100From $60

Should you try Knob Creek’s Rye whiskey over Bourbon?

Knob Creek’s Rye whiskey is also one bottle not to overlook. Most people associate Rye whiskeys as booze from the past, and probably have never heard it mentioned outside of the Don Mclean tune “American Pie.” However the rise in popularity of bespoke style cocktails, and the expanding interest in anything whiskey that North America and the booze drinking world as a whole have been experiencing, is giving a great reason for some of America’s finest whiskey distilleries to push their Rye whiskeys more into the limelight, and onto the shelves of liquor stores and bars & restaurants alike.

The longer aging process brings out more of the sugars from the wood, and the sweetness lends itself well to balancing out the harsher ethanol flavors normally associated with higher proof whiskeys. It is also a little darker in color and has a richer more complex flavor profile than most other Bourbons at the same price point because of the lengthier aging process. While the 9-year minimum is on hold Knob Creek still stands out as the older whiskey as most mainstream Bourbons at this price point are only aged from 3-4 years.

Their Rye is going to give a little bit more spiciness to the overall flavor when compared to the Bourbon, and it won’t be as sweet.

To gloss over the main difference briefly, in order to be considered a Bourbon the majority of the “mash” in the beginning stages of distilling must be composed of corn, while Rye whiskeys would, naturally, be mostly rye. Although both styles of whiskey typically contain the same three ingredients in the mash (corn, rye, and malted barley) what matters when it comes to properly labeling the whiskey is the ratio of the ingredients.

With that in mind, it’s easy to assume that within the same brand’s label that their Bourbon will be a little sweeter, more mellow, and richer than their Rye which will be dryer, have a bit of bite to it, and is usually better leaned to cocktail making than Bourbon. Knob Creek is no exception to this.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for a bottle on the cheaper side with similar characteristics to Knob Creek then taking a step back to the regular old Jim Beam is never a bad decision. At closer to $20 a liter, Jim Beam is perfect for mixing with cocktails or sodas. And you’re still staying brand loyal to the Jim Beam family. 

In the other direction and also from the Beam/Suntory company worth a few more bucks on the shelf would be Basil Hayden’s, Booker’s, and Baker’s bourbon. But just because the price is higher doesn’t always imply that you will like it more, but you never know until you try! It is recommended to try the different labels while out at a bar, before committing to a whole bottle to bring home.

Knob Creek Mixed Drinks

When it comes to whiskey cocktails, there are none more classic than the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. Both are traditionally made with Rye, as that was the more popular whiskey at the time and in the regions of their invention, either can use Bourbon as a substitute if you want a rounder and slightly sweeter drink. Knob Creek is a great brand to enhance your cocktail without crossing the line of “ruining” a massively expensive and well-aged whiskey by mixing it with vermouth or bitters and sugar.

Aside from being mixed with other liqueurs, Knob Creek Bourbon and Rye are easy sipping enough to be enjoyed straight-up or with just a cube or two of ice. Even a splash of seltzer or flat water if you want to keep a slower pace on your consumption.

Knob Creek is a bourbon so you can create almost any bourbon-based mixed drink with it. However, we have gathered some of the most popular Knob Creek mixed drinks for your enjoyment.

OLD FASHIONED:

  • 3 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters
  • 2oz Rye or Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2oz Simple Syrup
  • Orange Twist

In an Old Fashioned Glass or similar low-ball 10oz+ glass:

Dash the bitters first, add the simple syrup, then add a few cubes of ice or 1 large cube. Pour the whiskey over the ice and stir for 10-15 seconds. With a vegetable peeler or paring knife, slice a strip of rind off of fresh orange (don’t cut too low into the skin so as not to get any pith or flesh of the orange.) Pinch and twist the orange peel over the drink and rub along the rim of the glass and mix it in with the drink.

MANHATTAN:

  • 3 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • 2 oz Rye or Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Lemon twist

In a mixing tin or glass tumbler:

Dash the bitters first, add vermouth, then whiskey. Fill your vessel ¾ of the way with ice and stir without cracking the ice for about 15-20 seconds. The lighter your ice and longer you stir means the more watered down the drink will become, so adjust according to how strong you want the flavor of your drink to be and how solid the ice you’re using is. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass or coup and peel a lemon twist and pinch it over the drink, rub along the rim, and drop it in the drink.

Author Bio

Steve Remp
Steve Remp
Steve Remp is a bar manager residing in Brooklyn. He currently manages the beverage program for a Queens-based privately-owned vintage bowling alley that boasts a large craft beer and American whiskey selection.