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Bourbon Similar to Knob Creek: 10 Alternatives (2024)

Bourbon Similar to Knob Creek 

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Have you exhausted all of Knob Creek’s variations? Looking for something different but within the same range? You’re at the right place. 

There are alternatives to Knob Creek that you might have yet to experience.

So today, we’ll break down different bourbon similar to Knob Creek that you should try exploring once and for all.

Top 10 Knob Creek Alternatives You Should Try

10. Evan Williams BiB (White Label) 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Bourbon Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: approx. $18.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: For a budget-friendly price, Evan Williams BiB won’t disappoint.

It’s a bit sweet, but it has a lot of dark fruit and woody notes that balance it nicely for a great drink. 

Some may find its nuttiness too much, but we find it exciting and savory.

The extra proof adds a bit of character to this blend, which is ideal for something budget-friendly. 

9. Basil Hayden’s

Hand Holding Bottle of Basil Hayden's

Average Price: approx. $52/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV 

Why We Like It: Basil Hayden’s has something to offer to replace Knob Creek on your system, and that’s their 8-Year Old bourbon.

It has rye spiciness unique to their traditional corned mash bill. 

“Basil Hayden’s has always been a crowd-pleasing choice, especially during a time when people are getting together to share drinks or a celebratory meal.”

— Rob Mason, VP of Whiskey at Beam Suntory

Although it’s not as high-proof as Knob Creek expressions, the flavor profile is competitive enough to level with other bourbon brands.

If you have yet to try Basil, this is your time.   

8. Henry McKenna 10

3 Bottles of Henry McKenna 10

Average Price: approx. $70/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: Henry Mckenna is the only bottled-in-bond, single-barrel, and extra-aged bourbon in the market, making it truly unique. 

It’s got a bit of a bite and a lot of alcohol in it, but it’s also got the right amount of warmth to make it more enjoyable to drink. 

The nose starts with a combination of ethanol and spices. It begins to mellow on the palate quickly, with a sweet taste of caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla.

The finish is a bit longer, with more ethanol and a touch of oak, but it’s not too unpleasant.

7. Four Roses Single Barrel

Hand Holding Bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel

Average Price: approx. $50/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: One of the best of Four Roses is the Single Barrel, and it’s hard to beat at a great price. This bourbon has a high rye presence and is spicy on the first sip.

As you get used to it, it becomes sweeter, with notes of honey and vanilla, and it becomes completely pleasing.

This is a bit of a bite, but it’s not too alarming or shocking. The layered flavor and interesting aroma make this a good sipper.

6. Booker’s

Booker's Bottle in a Box

Average Price: approx. $89.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 63% ABV 

Why We Like It: The nose of Booker’s is intense, with aromas of leather, oak, and vanilla. It is also very hot and tasty, just slightly restrained from its high proof. 

It’s a bit sweet and oaky, but if you feel the burn, add a couple of drops of water to bring more of that to the table.

Lastly, an ice ball adds some more sweetness but doesn’t allow it to emerge. 

This is a 6- to 8-year-old bourbon, bottled at 126-proof, but it feels as such. 

5. Old Forester 100 Proof Signature Bourbon

Old Forester 100 Proof Bottle and a Glass on top of wooden barrel

Average Price: approx. $25/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: The Old Forester 100 is an excellent alternative to Knob Creek due to its high ethanol note that lingers as you let it sniff. 

After a few minutes, the aromas of caramel and oak begin to pop up.

The palate then gives hints of bitter chocolate, cherries, and cinnamon, and it has a bit of a mint finish.

This Old Forester 100 is a great everyday sipper that’s smooth enough for a 100-proof pour. At its price, it’s an excellent value for money.

4. E.H. Taylor

Bottle of E.H. Taylor Single Barrel

Average Price: approx. $88/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: The E.H. Taylor is a blend of whiskey and spices created at the Buffalo Trace distillery.

This is a slightly hotter version of the traditional Buffalo Trace [1] but with more complex flavors and aromas.

This nose is full of cherry, tobacco, and chocolate, with a subtle ethanol hit. On the palate, the thick oily consistency transitions into fruity and vanilla notes with a dash of spice.

Mainly, the Small Batch’s finish is its shining moment, starting with charred oak, black pepper, and vanilla.

Then, it develops into a long, lingering cherry and vanilla flavor. 

3. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Close Up Shot of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bottle

Average Price: approx. $60/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 60% ABV 

Why We Like It: We’re a huge fan of Elijah Craig’s Barrel Proof, which you should definitely be drinking. 

This is a strong and flavorful drink with hints of vanilla and alcohol. The nose is full of oak and warm at first, but it’s not harsh at all.

We like the long, warm finish with hints of oak spice and floral notes. 

This well-rounded bourbon is full of bold flavors, making it incredibly satisfying. If you feel too much heat, add a large ice cube to get the most out of this.

2. Evan Williams Single Barrel

Evan Williams Bourbon Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: approx. $27/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Evan Williams Single Barrel is an incredibly smooth and easy-to-drink Bourbon, an excellent alternative (or replacement) for Knob Creek. 

We like this well-rounded single barrel from Evan Williams, as it’s not overpowering but has a pleasant aroma and taste.

It’s also a bit dry at the finish, but overall it’s very enjoyable. 

1. Baker’s Single Barrel 7 Year

Close Up Shot of Bakers 7 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: approx. $60/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 53.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Baker’s blend is made at the Jim Beam distillery [2] in Kentucky using the same mash bill as Knob Creek and bottled at a higher proof. 

The aroma starts with some heat, followed by vanilla, oak, and peanuts.

The palate has an excellent creamy texture, and the first sip is warm, with hints of baking spice and oak. 

The finish is sweet with a little bit of heat and caramel, but they all blend satisfyingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of bourbon is Knob Creek?

Knob Creek is a kind of Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey produced by a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings, a beverage company based in Japan– Beam Suntory.

It’s one of four small-batch bourbon brands aimed at the high-end market.

Where does Knob Creek bourbon rank?

Knob Creek ranks as one of the top-shelf whiskeys due to its rich, bold profile and beautiful flavors. 

What compares to Knob Creek?

Several bourbons share similarities with Knob Creek, such as Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s, and Wild Turkey 101, as they fall within the same high-proof, small-batch, or single-barrel categories, offering a robust flavor profile and complexity that aligns with Knob Creek’s distinctive characteristics.

Is Knob Creek Bourbon top shelf?

While opinions on what constitutes “top shelf” may vary, Knob Creek Bourbon is often considered a premium and high-quality whiskey, falling into a category that is appreciated by enthusiasts seeking a balance of affordability and exceptional flavor.

Its small-batch and longer aging contribute to its reputation as a top-shelf or upper-tier bourbon.

Is Knob Creek similar to Woodford Reserve?

While both Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve are Kentucky bourbons, they differ in certain aspects. Knob Creek is known for its high proof and robust, full-bodied flavor with rich caramel and vanilla notes, while Woodford Reserve has a smoother profile with a focus on balance and complexity, incorporating a mix of grains.

Both are well-regarded, but the choice between them depends on individual taste preferences.

Which is better Knob Creek or Maker’s Mark?

The comparison between Knob Creek and Maker’s Mark comes down to personal preference. Knob Creek, with its higher proof and bolder flavor profile, may appeal to those who enjoy a more intense and robust bourbon experience.

On the other hand, Maker’s Mark, known for its sweeter and milder profile, is often favored by those seeking a smoother and approachable bourbon. Both have their unique qualities, making the choice subjective based on individual taste.

Is Knob Creek the same as Jim Beam?

Knob Creek and Jim Beam are related but distinct bourbons. Both are produced by the Jim Beam distillery, with Knob Creek being a part of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection. However, Knob Creek is differentiated by its higher proof, longer aging (nine years), and emphasis on a full-bodied flavor profile.

Jim Beam, while offering various expressions, is a larger brand producing bourbons with different characteristics, making Knob Creek a more premium and unique offering within the Jim Beam portfolio.

Is Knob Creek a whiskey or bourbon?

Knob Creek is a bourbon, a type of American whiskey that must adhere to specific legal requirements, including being distilled from a mash bill containing at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

As a bourbon, Knob Creek satisfies these criteria and is known for its high-quality, small-batch production.

Is Knob Creek a sweet bourbon?

Knob Creek Bourbon is characterized by a rich and robust flavor profile, featuring notes of caramel, vanilla, and a touch of sweetness.

While it isn’t overtly sweet like some dessert-like whiskies, the natural sweetness derived from the corn in the mash bill contributes to a well-balanced and flavorful bourbon.

Can you drink Knob Creek straight?

Absolutely, Knob Creek is often enjoyed straight due to its bold and complex character. Its higher proof (usually around 100 proof or more) enhances the full-bodied experience, allowing enthusiasts to savor the rich flavors and subtle nuances without dilution.

The option to enjoy Knob Creek neat highlights its versatility, providing a satisfying sipping experience for those who appreciate the intricacies of a well-crafted bourbon.

What does Knob Creek whiskey taste like?

Knob Creek Bourbon offers a distinctive flavor profile characterized by its intense and full-bodied nature. The palate includes prominent notes of caramel and vanilla, complemented by hints of oak, spice, and a touch of nuttiness.

The extended aging process, typically around nine years, contributes to the complexity, allowing the flavors to meld and develop, resulting in a well-rounded and flavorful whiskey.

Is Knob Creek a smooth whiskey?

While Knob Creek is known for its bold and robust character, whether it is considered a “smooth” whiskey is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences.

The higher proof and complex flavor profile might be perceived as less smooth compared to lower-proof or milder whiskies.

However, many enthusiasts appreciate the rich and full-bodied texture of Knob Creek, finding it smooth in the context of its bold and flavorful nature.

Final Verdict: Bourbon Similar to knob Creek

If you want to explore other bourbon brands without going distant to what you’re used to (like Knob Creek’s profile), you won’t go wrong with the spirits on this list. 

They’re all proven to bring delight and satisfaction to whiskey fanatics, regardless of style and preference. 

From Evan Williams BiB to the Old Forester 100 to Baker’s Single Barrel, you won’t just enjoy the sip but the experience as a whole. 


  1. Buffalo Trace, Maker of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Will Double Its Whiskey Production
  2. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jim Beam
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