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10 Best Knob Creek Bourbon Bottles Listed & Reviewed (2022)

Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Knob Creek is one of Jim Beam’s premium labels. Then-Master Distiller Booker Noe introduced it to the public in 1992 as a nine-year-old bourbon whiskey at 100 proof, but today, Beam Suntory has removed the bottle’s age statement due to tight inventory. 

Over the years, Knob Creek has released a few expressions, with some slightly better than others. Here are the best Knob Creek Bourbon bottles available today. 

Top 10 Knob Creek Bourbons (Must-Try) 

10. Knob Creek 9 Yr Single Barrel Select Bourbon

Knob Creek 9 Yr Single Barrel Select

Average Price: Around $60 

Alcohol Content: 60% 

Why We Liked It:

As the name suggests, the Knob Creek 9 Yr Single Barrel Select Bourbon is sourced from a single barrel and bottled unblended after a nine-year aging period.

With a price tag of about $60, you could say that this is a unicorn bottle, as far as well-aged single barrel bourbons go. [1

Its aroma is strong wood and allspice, with dark caramel and creamed corn undertones. The spicy trend continues to the palate, with more brown sugar, vanilla, butterscotch, and wood tannins. 

Surprisingly, it has a bitter finish, which we weren’t particularly fond of. We wouldn’t throw away this bottle, but there’s a reason why it’s in our number ten (and not higher). 

9. Knob Creek 2001 Edition Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek 2001 Edition

Average Price: Around $150 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek 2001 Edition Bourbon Whiskey is known as the last batch the late Booker Noe put up before his passing. It was made available to the public in 2001 as a three-batch special release, each with around 12,000 bottles. 

The three batches have vastly different flavor profiles — the first sweet, second woodsy and tannic, and the last a happy marriage of both. 

We had a bottle from the third batch, and we have to say it’s pretty great, and it being Booker Noe’s last batch just makes it all the more special. 

The deep copper bourbon is warm and fruity, with baking spice, vanilla, honey, parmesan cheese, and toasted oak notes. It has a rich, creamy mouthfeel, and the sweet and savory profile shines through more as it’s chewed. 

8. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

Average Price: Around $60 

Alcohol Content: 60% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey comes from select barrels that have passed their quality standards for bottling. 

Unlike the Knob Creek flagship bottle, this one is bottled immediately without blending, so you’ll find that the batches vary in flavor and aroma. 

It has an ethanol burn right off the bat, which is expected with a high-proof whiskey. It has the classic Knob Creek flavor: a rich, warm body, dark chocolate notes, and rye spice. 

There is also a distinct nuttiness and plenty of toasted oak from the barrels. We like drinking this with a bit of water to cut back the heat a little bit. 

7. Knob Creek Straight Bourbon 12 Year

Knob Creek Straight Bourbon 12 Year

Average Price: Around $75 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek Straight Bourbon 12 Year is made with a corn-heavy mash bill and aged for 12 years inside new oak barrels with a #4 char. The barrels are strategically placed in their rackhouses to ensure optimal aging. 

This dram has an aromatic, fruity nose. However, it is much darker and more nuanced on the palate, with toffee, burnt brown sugar, and caramel. 

It has a slightly oily, full-bodied feel inside the mouth. This is a dangerously easy drink, so you should drink slowly and savor every sip. Learn how to open a bottle of Knob Creek bourbon here

6. Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary

Average Price: Around $150 

Alcohol Content: 61.05% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon was released in 2017 to commemorate the brand’s silver anniversary. 

This bourbon pays homage to the distilling style of the late Booker Noe, further enhanced by seventh-generation Master Distiller Fred Noe. 

This limited-edition bottle is bottled at cask strength after 12 to 13 years of aging. There is plenty of woodsy heat on the nose, relative to its 120-proof, but nothing too overpowering that it’s an instant turnoff. 

It is full and heavy on the palate, with bold flavors of allspice and charred oak against a backdrop of sweet, creamy vanilla. All in all, this is a great bottle that will make Booker Noe proud. 

5. Knob Creek Quarter Oak Straight Bourbon

Knob Creek Quarter Oak

Average Price: Around 60% 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek Quarter Oak is a blend of the regular Knob Creek, and Knob Creek finished in quarter casks for four years. 

However, Knob Creek has not disclosed how much the ratio is of each component inside the bottle, so we guess we’ll never know. 

We tried this out side-by-side with a regular Knob Creek bottle, and we have to say that the quarter casks did wonders in making this dram uniquely exquisite. 

The Knob Creek Quarter Oak is pleasantly sweet on the palate, with peanut brittle, herbal spice, and some dark fruit notes. It has an elegant finish that isn’t long, but doesn’t leave you wanting more. Solid 8/10. 

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4. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Around $40 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Liked It:

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the OG bottle in our list. The Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey takes our number four spot and is probably one of the best labels from the Jim Beam Distillery. 

This classic dram is more or less the same as when it was first released, and that’s saying something. 

The liquor has a medium-amber hue, with hefty legs that cling to the sides of the Glencairn glass when you swirl it around. It is rife with baking spices like clove, nutmeg, and black pepper, alongside traditional bourbon notes like caramel and vanilla. 

If you need to find a great quality bourbon bottle for just under $50, you definitely can’t go wrong with this one. 

3. Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek Smoked Maple

Average Price: Around $40 

Alcohol Content: 45% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon Whiskey is the brand’s only flavored expression. After producing their classic dram as per usual, the company blends it with natural smoked maple flavor to impart the smoky sweetness of maple. 

This amber-colored spirit reminds us of the classic fall flavors of warm apple pie and roasted sweet potatoes. It is decidedly maple-y through and through — from the nose, to the palate, and down to its finish. 

Maple doesn’t overpower the whole dram, though — you’ll also get classic bourbon notes like brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla. 

Overall, this is light and crisp, perfect for sipping neat in front of a fireplace during a fall night. 

2. Knob Creek 15-Year Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek 15-Year

Average Price: Around $130 

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek 15-Year Bourbon Whiskey is the oldest expression from the label and was first released to the public in 2020. 

This spirit pays homage to the original pre-prohibition bourbon and aims to capture its essence inside each bottle. The barrels used for the bourbon were pulled from prime locations within their warehouses that cater to advanced aging. 

The decade-and-a-half maturation imparted sublime toffee, leather, and oak notes while retaining the unique Knob Creek profile. 

It has a rich and full-bodied mouthfeel, perfect for sipping neat. Drinking it on the rocks thins it out and gives way to more floral notes. 

1. Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight

Average Price: Around $40 

Alcohol Content: 50% 

Why We Liked It:

The Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is hands down, our favorite expression from the brand. 

It was first introduced to the public in 1992, but it had to undergo a temporary hiatus in 2016 when supplies started running low. This was eventually relaunched in late 2020, with its age statement still intact. [2

The nine years it’s spent maturing in casks paid off extremely well — this is a sublime spirit, with a hefty mouthfeel and even heftier flavors. 

There is plenty of vanilla and brown sugar right off the bat, balanced with zesty citrus and orange peel. 

We don’t know anyone who didn’t fall in love the first time they tried this. This is an instant people pleaser and deserves our number one spot. 

 *Average prices are based on Drizly online. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.

FAQs 

Is Knob Creek a top-shelf bourbon?

Yes. Knob Creek is a top-shelf bourbon. As one of the premium labels from Jim Beam Distillery, this brand definitely deserves a spot on your top shelf. 

Is Knob Creek a good sipping bourbon whiskey?

Yes, Knob Creek is a great sipping bourbon whiskey. Knob Creek has great depth and flavor nuances best enjoyed if sipped neat, unlike when used as a mixer in cocktail drinks. 

What is the best way to drink Knob Creek bourbon?

Our personal favorite way of enjoying Knob Creek Bourbon is drinking it neat in a Glencairn glass or having just one large ice cube cool it down a bit.

Some people find Knob Creek a bit too dense when sipped neat, so adding ice helps thin it out for a more favorable experience. 

Final Thoughts 

Knob Creek has the hallmark of being a well-aged, premium spirit while still remaining relatively inexpensive. 

The premium expressions from Jim Beam are artfully crafted and rife with bourbon-y goodness. Its flavor notes include caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak, without being too overpowering that it turns bourbon beginners off. 

Our favorite bottles include the Knob Creek 15-Year-Old and Knob Creek Smoked Maple, but by far, our personal favorite is the Knob Creek 9-Year Old. All three expressions are well-aged spirits with gorgeous nuances and depth of flavors. 

Did we include your favorite Knob Creek expression? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off below. 

References: 

  1. https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/drinks/a577194/how-to-talk-bourbon/
  2. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/knob-creek-15-year-bourbon-bottle-review/

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