View Full Version : Booker's vs. Knob Creek
My son and I just tried Booker's last night for the first time. Gotta say it's become our instant favorite! It's everything we like in a bourbon, and just the way we like it (except for the price!).
We've seen much discussion on these forums about the similarities between Knob Creek and Booker's, same mash bill, etc. and the family resemblance is obvious even with our limited experience.
Other than differences in bottling proof, what are the distinctions between the two during their maturation processes? And why does the younger Booker's cost so much more than the older KC?
I did several searches before posting our questions, but if this has already been discussed elsewhere, just point me at the right thread. Thanks!
As far as the price difference there are a couple of reasons.
First the Knob Creek is watered down to 100 proof, you get more water, less whiskey. And marketing, that box that Booker's comes in ain't free 'ya know, and the price also gives it a more upscale image.
Prices are set at what a company thinks it can get, not at what they are worth.
Here in Michigan Old Charter 10 year old is $14.00, Booker's 6 to 8 year old is $57.00.
Granted these two examples are from two different companies, but I don't think they paid that big a difference when they bought the corn.
You see, some people think the old addage that, "you get what you pay for" is true, when in fact it ain't.
I find the family resemblance even stronger between Booker's and Jim Beam Black label. Proof is about the only difference. That and price. (And fancy packaging.)
In addition to the comparisons you can make based on the labels -- proof, age -- and knowing the "source," whiskeys taste the way they do because of the barrel selection process. There is a Booker's "profile," and barrels (of the correct age) are picked to match that profile.
Beam also practices wood management, which is they decide when the product is barreled that it is going to "be" Booker's, Knob, or whatever, and then they place it in the warehouse location where they believe it will get the most benefit from its target age. They can, of course, make adjustments along the way, but the most efficient thing is to get it right the first time.
The taste profile of Booker's and JB Black are most definitely very close. but I get yellow fruit (very ripe pears) from JB Black, Booker's not nearly so much. though it is expensive, I shell out the money to drink Booker's at home but only drink KC in bars and restaurants. I don't have a very good explanation for that, except to say there are other whiskeys in KC's price range I'd rather buy for home consumption. I can always get a drink of KC at a bar.
I'm glad I read this thread. I've not purchased Beam Black Label as I thought it a lesser quality. I've enjoyed Bookers, but it is definately not for the novice bourbon drinker or the faint-at-heart.
Reading this post made me stop and get some JB Black on the way home. Been at a least a couple of years since I have had any.
Doing a side by side with it and Bookers now. Booker's high proof is so evident that it is hard for me to find too many other simalarities between the two. Although I do like the JB Black a lot. I think I will keep it on hand from now on. You know what it does remind me of though, OC classic 90.. think I will get it out next./
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