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View Full Version : Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel



JayMonster
03-18-2012, 06:00
Similar philosophies, similar prices, both claim to be "small batch" bourbons that manage to be just about everywhere.

I'm pretty sure in advance I know how this is going to go, since it is the sheer adoration of Rare Breed by many that finally got me to break down and give it a try.

And I have to admit, despite going in with all these good expectations, I was still pleasantly surprised by WTRB. Extremely pleasant nose, with some hints of vanilla of toffee, and far less of an alcohol nose than I expected by something of this proof. A rich, lucious mouth feel, it started off with a hint of an odd taste that I am having a bit of a problem putting a description on... Somewhere between bread dough and wet paper, but it doesn't stay around long as the spice kicks in with a nice peppery bite, which soon after turns into a rich caramel taste. And I can't emphasize this enough... rich caramel. Not like a cube of cheap caramel out of a plastic wrapper, but the gooey rich soft caramel that would be drizzled on a warm apple pie. The caramel softens but stays around on the finish. I expected a bit more there, but it lingered just long enough to have me anticipating the next sip.

KCSB has a definitely stronger alcohol component to it, and while I guess that is to be expected at 120 proof, it was like giving WTRB a head start. You get a similar vanilla on the nose, you also get some Maple Syrup and dark fruits. At first the taste starts out a bit with that Maple Syrup, and I was almost disappointed that the vanilla on the nose didn't seem to be present. Then comes the caramel, but not the same as the WTRB, far less pronouncement of this flavor as it also seems to contend with more Oak and then settles down with licorice and some spice on the back. The finish doesn't linger as long as the WTRB but is crisp and clean with just a hint of... oh wait, there... the vanilla finally makes a hint of an appearance along with a bit of alcohol on the finish.

Overall, while I liked the complexity of the KCSB more, the extra alcohol doesn't do it any favors. I like the WTRB, more than I ever expected to, but still found a bit less complexity for a Barrel Strength bourbon.

Put a gun to my head or make me choose one that I have to drink forever, I would probably pick the KCSB. But, since that is not the situation, I see no reason that I have to choose and will probably keep both around.

Like I said, I have a feeling I know how this is going to go, but I am still curious, do you think one is better than the other? Or are they just different enough to live harmoniously together? If you had to choose, which one would you pick?

ebo
03-18-2012, 07:47
I'm a fan of both. I probably drink more WTRB simply because it's easier to get in my area. I have to drive a bit to get the KCSB.

If I had to choose just one of them, it would probably be the WTRB, because I'm a big fan of the Wild Turkey flavor profile, in general.

Fortunately, like you, that situation isn't going to arise, so.......... I'll continue to enjoy both! :cool:

jtexaslonestar
03-18-2012, 08:19
Nice notes. Haven't had the WTRB yet even though i had my hand on it many times. The proof is right at my sweet spot too (100 proof or higher). i will put this on my list to pick up.:cool:

PaulO
03-18-2012, 09:19
I just recenty tried the KC Single Barrel. The main tastes I get were like cinnamon and orange peel. It's probably one of my favorite Beam products. I got it on sale for low $30s. I'm glad I waited. Some places want like $50 (too much). If you've had regular KC, no real surprizes.
I probably like WTRB better. It's got more of that carmel and vanilla thing going on, that I associate with better bourbons.

Lazer
03-18-2012, 11:15
These are 2 winners. I'm looking forward to the RR1b at 110 proof. I'm predicting a similar quality product, possibly superior.:grin:

smgrey24
03-18-2012, 16:06
Like I said, I have a feeling I know how this is going to go, but I am still curious, do you think one is better than the other? Or are they just different enough to live harmoniously together? If you had to choose, which one would you pick?

My choice would definitely be the Knob. Have always being a fan of Knob Creek Small Batch 9 yr; have to admit that I am now a convert to the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. It packs quite the kick as one would expect with a 120 proof.

p_elliott
03-19-2012, 08:11
I chose WTRB hands down I was looking foward to the KCSB coming out but when I tried it it just taste like bad Bookers.

weller_tex
03-19-2012, 11:22
Nothing wrong with KC or KCSB, but I prefer WTRB, and actually my fav WT is just plain old WT Rye 101 and WT 101..

Steve99
03-19-2012, 11:36
It hurts me to admit it, but I have to go with WTRB. Knob Creek was my long time favorite bourbon hands down, and the Single Barrel was out of this world. Then I found this site and my tasting horizons have been broadened, and Knob Creek has faded.

I still like the KCSB a lot (just finished off a bottle with this comparison) but the WTRB is also a better value and I like the flavors just a little better. Just like you said, glad to have them both available.

Great idea to compare these two -- I had never tried them side by side.

Steve

Bigspur2011
03-19-2012, 16:46
I like the KCSB, but I do think it has a little to much alcohol burn. I have been meaning to get some WTRB, I will have to finally get of the pot and try it.

Clavius
03-19-2012, 20:01
Gonna have to go with KCSB on this one. The two bottles I've had of it were absolutely incredible. WTRB is just ok in my book.

JayMonster
03-19-2012, 20:06
I chose WTRB hands down

I would have been disappointed if you hadn't


I was looking foward to the KCSB coming out but when I tried it it just taste like bad Bookers.

After reading some people's views on KCSB, particularly on the BOTM thread, I really wonder about this from barrel to barrel. It almost seems like there are two distinct versions, and it is either really good or really bad.


Nothing wrong with KC or KCSB, but I prefer WTRB, and actually my fav WT is just plain old WT Rye 101 and WT 101..

I figure I will pit the WT 101 against the regular Knob Creek somewhere down the road.



I still like the KCSB a lot (just finished off a bottle with this comparison) but the WTRB is also a better value and I like the flavors just a little better. Just like you said, glad to have them both available.


Just curious, how much variation is there in price in NC? Here in NJ, KCSB runs about $2 more, hardly enough for me to consider WTRB differentiated by "value."

weller_tex
03-20-2012, 10:07
Just curious, how much variation is there in price in NC? Here in NJ, KCSB runs about $2 more, hardly enough for me to consider WTRB differentiated by "value."

Yeah, here in Texas they are almost identical in price, never more than $1 or $2 apart.

jcg9779
03-20-2012, 13:26
I reach for WTRB more (which isn't all that often) and this thread has me thinking that I need to revisit my open bottle of KCSB. I do like regular KC on occasion, but wasn't a fan of the KCSB initially. Maybe some air has done some good.

Young Blacksmith
03-20-2012, 16:23
I feel the same way as Jack, so for me I'd choose WTRB as of right now.

Have an open bottle of the KCSB which I'll try again tonight.

Steve99
03-27-2012, 10:39
Just curious, how much variation is there in price in NC? Here in NJ, KCSB runs about $2 more, hardly enough for me to consider WTRB differentiated by "value."

It's usually closer to a $10 difference around here. $44 KCSB vs $35 for WTRB in NC. SC is usually more like $40 vs. $30. I'm usually pretty good about writing the price down that I paid on the bottle. The WTRB I was drinking from had $28 on it -- must have gotten it on sale. I haven't seen the KCSB for less then $40 around here.