Knob Creek 9 year $30-40

Knob Creek 12 year $60-70

Knob Creek 15 year $100-110

All 100 proof

Produced by Beam Suntory

For this blind tasting, I decided to go with Knob Creek 9, 12 and 15 year old. This decision is based on my recent discovery & love for Knob Creek 9 year old. Finding a bottle of 12 & 15 year old proved to be quite an adventure, but after a couple days hunting I scored (at quite a markup) both bottles. I didn’t mind paying the aftermarket price though, because my infatuation with the 9 year old had me itching to taste the more aged expressions. 

Blake and his best pal Salim Sanchez joined me for this tasting. This made for a night full of life-long tales from buddies growing up together and hanging out all the way through college. We had a blast reminiscing, spinning a few records and jamming on our own instruments. My better half Rebecca was gracious enough to deal out the pours. We got lucky on this Kentucky summer evening and the weather was amicable for an outdoor tasting (it’s currently 95F outside as I write this, so yeah). 

I would describe Knob Creek 9’s flavor profile basically like grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter, add a touch of honey, drizzle some chocolate and caramel all over and enjoy! All three hit me with that same flavor profile and very similar chewy mouthfeel. The difference for me lies in the mid palate and finish. Salim and I both agreed that the 12 year old adopted everything that makes the 9 year old fantastic (mid-palate sweet caramel and chocolate cayenne spicy finish) and took it to the next level. The 15 year had more of a maple syrup mid palate and a much more oak forward finish, which Blake found to be his favorite.  

Overall, I think all three of these Knob Creek bottles are very good. I will always have a bottle of 9 year old on my shelf, and pick up a 12 year old when it comes available. However, I don’t think I would run out and grab the 15 year old. It’s a great bourbon, but there are better bottles at that price point I’d reach for first.

Photos Courtesy of Matt Kohorst and Salim Sanchez