View Full Version : Is Knob Creek JB 9 year?

04-19-2009, 14:05
I was at the local liquor store discussing bourbon selection with the special orders rep...he told me that Knob Creek is Jim Beam aged 9 years but sold under the Knob Creek label. Is this true? If so I'll have to pay more attention to Jim Beam as I quite like Knob Creek.

04-19-2009, 14:11

04-19-2009, 15:02
Is there any specific reason why JB would sell a 9 year old under a different label?

04-19-2009, 15:07
It's part of Beam's Small Batch collection, and is selected for a specific taste profile. They make several different whiskies from the same distillate.

04-19-2009, 15:09
"Is there any specific reason why JB would sell a 9 year old under a different label?"

Chuck Cowdery could answer that better than anyone else around here, but I suspect they don't want to cannibalize any of their labels that carry the Beam name.

04-19-2009, 15:25
Is there any specific reason why JB would sell a 9 year old under a different label?

It's an attempt to disguise their products. Less knowledgeable consumers won't know that that's actually Beam and not something else. Much like what Anheuser Busch-INBEV does with all their imposterBREWS (the fake micros) they do such as Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale, Organic Wild Hop Lager, Pacific Ridge Pale Ale, Skipjack Amber, Sun Dog Amber Wheat and Spring Heat Spiced Wheat.

They are trying to step away from any negative reputation or consumer brand identity to establish another consumer base in the more premium categories.

04-19-2009, 17:38
I was at the local liquor store discussing bourbon selection with the special orders rep...he told me that Knob Creek is Jim Beam aged 9 years but sold under the Knob Creek label. Is this true? If so I'll have to pay more attention to Jim Beam as I quite like Knob Creek.

The age is not the only difference (and it's a big difference, I think) but KC is also 100 proof, whereas the Beam White label is 80 proof.

Bourbon Geek
04-19-2009, 17:39
I believe there are generally 2 mash bills at JB ... one of higher rye proportions for OGD and BH ... the other for everything else.

Certainly, the mash bill isn't everything, however ... there is distillation proof ... barrelling proof ... maturation location ... maturation duration ... and a load of other variables.... including bottling proof ...

All that aside ... consider the following:

Old Crow, JB White, JB Black, Old Taylor, Knob Creek, Booker's, and Baker's all start with pretty much the same ingredients ... same distillery ... etc ... but then the differences all kick in ...

Rack warehouses ... Palletized warehouses
Cross section of all floors ... select floors
Barrelling proof
maturation duration
bottling proof

It would be great if JB would publish a list of differentials product by product ... It could be one of the greatest untold bourbon stories

When you taste them all, you can definately see the family relationship ... but there are marked differences as well...

04-19-2009, 19:34
Chuck got the scoop from Beam at one of the KBF shindigs last September and I believe that he said that they are distilling, barreling and aging specifically for each label now. With this, you will see barrels marked as destined for each unique label in the warehouse. IIRC, it is a new development and the juice probably hasn't hit the market yet.

The differences in each are as described above, but I think he keyed on the distillation proof and entry proof as the main variables.

Searching the forum archives will probably turn up the specifics.

04-23-2009, 15:04
About half of America's whiskey distilleries make multiple brands. There is nothing wrong with that. Many of us would like the industry to be a bit more transparent, but who makes what is generally not much of a secret. There is a third part to this, which is the producers who don't distill but rather buy bulk whiskey from someone who does. They tend not to reveal their sources.

It has never been a secret that Knob Creek is a Beam product, nor that it is the same recipe as Jim Beam, but aged at least nine years and 100 proof.

When they introduced the Small Batch Collection twenty years ago, they simply selected suitable barrels from existing inventory. As the volume from these brands, especially Knob Creek, became more significant they began barreling to brand and managing each product's aging to maximize its time in wood. A few years ago, they also began to optimize the entry proof for each brand.

Booker's, Knob Creek, Baker's and Jim Beam share a common mash bill and yeast, so they are the same when they leave the still. Beam uses a different mash bill and yeast for Old Grand-Dad, which is also used by Basil Hayden.

Beam also makes a straight rye, one recipe, which with different aging becomes Old Overholt, Jim Beam Rye or (ri)1.

04-23-2009, 18:28
I have no issues with Beam selling under the Knob creek label. I was just surprised as I thought the Beam distillery would want to showcase as part of their product line a 9 year old bourbon.

04-24-2009, 20:11
Jim Beam Black Label is 8-years-old, and 90 proof, so it's not so terribly different from Knob Creek. That said, a bourbon isn't just its specs. Each has its own distinct flavor profile.

06-17-2009, 02:11

Fascinating thread! I like JBB and was less than impressed with KC. Yes, I was aware that both were Beam products, but the KC's flavor profile was different enough for me to conclude that it wasn't worth the extra bucks over JBB.

PS: Perhaps KC and JBB aren't so different?

06-17-2009, 17:09
In my short time here, I think I've learned a hell of a lot of what was once a merely a passing fancy, and has now grown into a full blown passion.

IMO, this forum is like a classroom, with Chuck serving as the lead lecturer and a lot of other guest speakers. I've learned more than I thought I'd ever even want to when it comes to firewater! :cool:

KC was the second bourbon I ever purchased, after my first conscious foray into this world after discovering the wonders of Makers Mark. In my first impression, I of course, compared it to MM, and thought it inferior.

My, my, how my palate has changed!

Now that I've actually tried all of the JB product line, I have to say that I too can actually taste the similarity amongst all of the products...and I now appreciate them ALL because of it! :grin:

Where I once would never even think of ordering a JB White, it is now my default Well drink if the Bourbon selection is weak...or overpriced. I now know that $8 for a single MM is simply a rip off, I'd go for the $4 JBW every time.

That being said, I gotta say, I just recently did a side by side comparison between JBW, JBB, KC & the JB 7 Year Distiller's edition.

I must say, of the four variations, I think the 7 year DE is the best. While it's close to JBB, I think the fact that it's got a little bit higher bottle proof (90), gives it just a little more emphasis on the cherry and vanilla aftertaste. I even notice that the higher proof 7yrDE was smoother than the lower proof JBW and JBB. I'm real impressed with it, and hope it's available for a while more...I think I may want to bunker a few more bottles, as it is a limited edition, right?

I took a bottle of the 7yrDE to a party of non-Bourbon drinkers and got rave reviews. I had many, many people tell me they had no idea that Jim Beam could actually taste so good. :slappin:I never thought I'd enjoy JBW until I began appreciating the higher end JB line....

As far as KC goes, as long as 7yrDE is available, KC is simply overpriced for me. KC is typically $35 here in HI, while the 7yrDE is around $20 - $22. I have about 1/4 of a bottle of KC left, and I'm not gonna replace it until the 7yrDE is no longer available.