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View Full Version : Knob Creek Vs. Lot B



NickAtMartinis
06-19-2007, 05:44
Sat down for a couple sips of Bourbon last night. First, I had a 2 oz pour of the Lot B then decided to switch things up with some KC. As it turned out, KC stood really well with the Lot B. Actually, I liked the KC better than the Lot B. Trust me, I was surprised too.

The KC was sweeter but a little rough around the edges while the Lot B had a more subtle flavor and more smooth.

Has anyone tried these two together in the same sitting before? I wasn't planning any taste-testing to see which was better, it just turned out that way.

Still, I can't believe that I enjoyed the KC better than the Lot B. Who knows, tonight I might like the Lot B better.


Regards,

Mark

jwrussell
06-19-2007, 10:11
I've yet to try my Lot B, but I'll have to compare it with KC when I do. I wouldn't have figured they'd go well together, I always got the feeling based on descriptions that they were two VERY different bourbons.

NickAtMartinis
06-19-2007, 10:58
They really are two different bourbons. Not even close to one another in flavor. Still, I was shocked to realize that I prefer KC over Lot B.

In my opinion, there is a ton more flavor in the KC than the Lot B. At the same time, I still like the Lot B and definitely preferred its finish over the KC. Next time I'm out shopping for bourbon I think I'll bypass the Lot B and pick up another bottle of KC and save myself $10 in the process.

jwrussell
06-19-2007, 11:48
I wouldn't be all that surprised Nick, it's all a matter of taste. I can relate it to the cigar world where some people will absolutely rave about a given cigar, only for me to find that it does nothing for me. Same deal. Especially with Bourbon in this instance, as I understand it, the Pappy's are a wheat recipe whilst the KC is a rye recipe bourbon. To very different animals, and if you don't care for wheated bourbon as much as Rye, you are probably going to prefer the KC.

Now, I may be talking out of the completely wrong orifice here as you stated in your first post that you really liked the PVW20, but then again maybe I'm on to something, who knows...

NickAtMartinis
06-19-2007, 12:55
I wouldn't be all that surprised Nick, it's all a matter of taste. I can relate it to the cigar world where some people will absolutely rave about a given cigar, only for me to find that it does nothing for me. Same deal. Especially with Bourbon in this instance, as I understand it, the Pappy's are a wheat recipe whilst the KC is a rye recipe bourbon. To very different animals, and if you don't care for wheated bourbon as much as Rye, you are probably going to prefer the KC.

Now, I may be talking out of the completely wrong orifice here as you stated in your first post that you really liked the PVW20, but then again maybe I'm on to something, who knows...

I definitely prefer the PVW20, no doubt. And, I figured I'd really love the Lot B, especially with all the praise for it here and the mere fact that I like a wheated bourbon. But, I wasn't that impressed with it and really like the KC over it.

But, the PVW20 is a completely different animal than the Lot B and has a lot more flavor. There is no doubt that I prefer the PVW20 over KC.

I never even realized that I like rye bourbon. In fact, I always thought wheated bourbon was sweeter, but KC was sweeter than the Lot B.

Go figure. Like you said, it's all a matter of taste.

darkluna
06-19-2007, 17:46
I've had a bottle of both, and I was very underwhelmed by the Lot B. Not bad, just nothing to make me sit up and go "Ah!". By contrast, I was really pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the Knob Creek. I also enjoyed the higher proof of KC (100 vs 90.4)

SBOmarc
06-19-2007, 18:20
I am torn.. I realize the diffrence in the cost of these pours and the perception that results in the known factor. Having said that we are faced with the reality that KC is 9 years old, impressive proof and in most markets at sub $20, great but to say the least. Lot B...Is way above the curve. IMHO

Then again....I could be wrong.

jwrussell
06-19-2007, 18:53
Sub $20? Seriously? $20 is the BEST price I can find around here. Usually it's closer to $30. Still at least $10 cheaper than Lot B...sure hope I enjoy it more than it seems I might.

SBOmarc
06-19-2007, 18:59
So sorry to hear to find thst you need to pay that. We don't hear the bargain out here in SoCal, but KC has been a value for such a looong time.

I offer no apologies, we don't see a value often, and are willing to pay for what we find.

NickAtMartinis
06-20-2007, 06:25
KC here is usually around $29.99 and that's probably what I paid. The Lot B was $42.99. Since I like the KC better, I will not pay an extra $10+ for the Lot B.

By the way, regarding taste-testing, I don't believe the bourbons you are taste-testing have to be the same type of bourbon, i.e., all wheated or all rye, etc.

Again, my taste-testing was impromptu but given the fact that the KC and Lot B are rye and wheated bourbons respectively, does not mean that you can't have a taste test between the two to find which one you like better.

That is just my opinion.

jwrussell
06-20-2007, 06:48
Didn't mean for my comment to come across in that way Nick. Certainly you can taste Rye and Wheated bourbons together. In fact, it certainly offers an interesting opposing taste. I just meant that for my taste, if I prefer a Rye based bourbon to start with, any wheated bourbon is probably going to be at a disadvantage if I'm trying it with a Rye bourbon. If any of that makes sense...

SBOmarc, I don't know if my post came across wrong, or if I'm reading something into yours...no apologies necessary. A good value is certainly nothing to apologize for. I just was questioning your "in most markets" comment.

NickAtMartinis
06-20-2007, 07:13
Didn't mean for my comment to come across in that way Nick.

I definitely had no problem with your comment at all. Please don't think I was upset or something like that. I was just expressing my opinion on that.

Perhaps, my tastes are turning more toward the rye bourbons which is a good thing since I recently purchased the WT Tribute. ;)

Bob O.
06-20-2007, 10:25
With me it isn't an either or situation. There will always be space for both Bourbons for me. They are 2 different styles...so depending on my mood either could satisfy me. I did seem to notice that the Lot B seems to be much better now then when the bottle was originally opened. I guess we are lucky to be able to get KC on sale routinely at $20 in CA. Now if we could get 4 Roses...

Hedmans Brorsa
06-20-2007, 11:32
I am not really that surprised by your preferences, to be honest.

Admittedly, Ive only had one bottle of Lot B, but judging by that one, this is not the best choice in the Van Winkle line.

My last bottle of KC was a bit more lightweight then Ive grown accustomed to, but I still regard it as a classy whiskey. Maybe its high visibility in the US has contributed to it being regarded as almost low-brow these days?

jwrussell
06-20-2007, 12:33
Wow, really? Low brow? Hmmmm...never really saw it that way...

cowdery
06-20-2007, 14:49
I have observed here over the years, just following the "What are you drinking tonight?" thread that Lot B seems to be extremely popular among participants on this site. KC, on the other hand, gets good comments but doesn't show up as often, either in the ongoing "drinking" thread or the companion "buying" thread. I don't have a theory for why that is, but even before this discussion came up I noticed just how frequently Lot B comes up. Considering that Lot B (which isn't even the product's name but is what everyone here calls it) is a tiny brand while KC is, relatively, huge, I find that interesting.

Not sure if that even contributes to this discussion and I haven't had either one recently enough to comment on which I like better, though I too think it would be a hard call just because they're so different. I think Nick made his original post mostly because his experience was different from his expectations, which is interesting, but also very specific to that one experience.

If somebody wants to ask a "which one do you like better" question and people want to answer it, that's okay. All preferences are subjective and somehow the head-to-head seems even more subjective. I guess I'm chiming in here because I wouldn't want a newbie to take any of this as conclusive as to which is better.

I wonder if any of the huge Lot B fans here could do a "which to you like better?" comparison between a SW Lot B and a Bernheim Lot B?

jburlowski
06-20-2007, 14:52
I agree that these two are very different but both are very, very good pours.... I like them both.

I think the frequency of mentions for Lot B is, among other things, a tribute to the Van Winkles' ability to select great whiskey.

jwrussell
06-20-2007, 15:18
Hmmm...I actually have a different theory on the frequency of mention on the Lot B vs the KC. KC is readily available (if not) everywhere (then darn close), whereas Lot B is much more difficult to find. Not necessarily DIFFICULT to find, but certainly closer to "rare" than KC.

Just an off the cuff theory...

NickAtMartinis
06-20-2007, 15:24
Hmmm...I actually have a different theory on the frequency of mention on the Lot B vs the KC. KC is readily available (if not) everywhere (then darn close), whereas Lot B is much more difficult to find. Not necessarily DIFFICULT to find, but certainly closer to "rare" than KC.

Just an off the cuff theory...

I agree with this theory. It seems that the more rare something is, the more sought after and better it is. The fact is, older or more rare, does not mean better. And, as my taste buds are maturing to bourbon I am quickly realizing this.

The funny part is, my expectations were not very high for KC but were for Lot B, so my tastes are contradictary to my levels of expectation. This, of course, happens a lot. We've all been through it where, as a kid, you visited some bugher joint or whatever and loved the burghers and fries. Then, 20 years later after raving about it to you wife and kids, you stop by only to find that the burgers and fries are just ordinary.

Bottom line, when I'm in my cabinet looking for bourbon to drink, I'll grab X bourbon and KC. That's how much I like KC, expecations or not.

CrispyCritter
06-20-2007, 19:21
I love them both, but I'd be hard-pressed to say I prefer one over the other, except that KC is easier on the pocketbook. However, one being a wheater and the other rye-based, there are times when I'd pick Lot B first, and other times when I'd go with KC.

doubleblank
06-20-2007, 20:02
If I do a quick poll of my bunker.....how much do I have of each? KC = 0. Lot B's = multiple cases. Of course, most of that is my SB I did several years ago. Its a unique pour.....but a SW 12yo none the less.

KC is a decent pour.....it was one of my early faves when I got into bourbon many years ago. But its $28 here and I got my SB of Lot B for $33.

Chuck.....I've done the comparison you're talking about. Blind with friends. The older version wins out. But the newer version is still good.

If offered either w/o knowing old or new, etc....I'd opt for the Lot B.

Randy

NickAtMartinis
06-21-2007, 07:06
If I do a quick poll of my bunker.....how much do I have of each? KC = 0. Lot B's = multiple cases. Of course, most of that is my SB I did several years ago. Its a unique pour.....but a SW 12yo none the less.

KC is a decent pour.....it was one of my early faves when I got into bourbon many years ago. But its $28 here and I got my SB of Lot B for $33.

Chuck.....I've done the comparison you're talking about. Blind with friends. The older version wins out. But the newer version is still good.

If offered either w/o knowing old or new, etc....I'd opt for the Lot B.

Randy

I was under the impression that Lot B was not SW anymore. Am I incorrect?

jeff
06-21-2007, 08:37
I was under the impression that Lot B was not SW anymore. Am I incorrect?

No, you're correct. Randy did his Single Barrel bottling prior to the switch.

NickAtMartinis
06-21-2007, 09:28
No, you're correct. Randy did his Single Barrel bottling prior to the switch.

Okay, that clears that up. By the way, is the PVW20 and 23 SW or not?

cowdery
06-21-2007, 12:41
Everything Pappy (with that one exception years ago) is SW, old stock or new. Some of the 15 may not be 100% SW, however. The 20/23 still is 100% SW.

Old stock: It's hard to assess what's in stores at any given time, but I would guess that most store stock of Lot B is still SW, though what is coming through the pipeline now is Bernheim

There should still be a fair amount of Old Rip out there that is SW, and if you find an Old Rip 15, that's SW, but any Old Rip 10 that you see probably is not SW unless it's a bona fide dusty.

Note: One good reason to buy the new Lot B is that it probably is the best expression of a Bernheim wheater on the market. It is well documented that the Beams made a lot of changes to Bernheim when HH took over, but the Master Distiller there until the sale was Ed Foote, who was the last Master Distiller at SW, i.e., no slouch at making wheated bourbon.

NickAtMartinis
06-21-2007, 13:48
Everything Pappy (with that one exception years ago) is SW, old stock or new. Some of the 15 may not be 100% SW, however. The 20/23 still is 100% SW.

Old stock: It's hard to assess what's in stores at any given time, but I would guess that most store stock of Lot B is still SW, though what is coming through the pipeline now is Bernheim

There should still be a fair amount of Old Rip out there that is SW, and if you find an Old Rip 15, that's SW, but any Old Rip 10 that you see probably is not SW unless it's a bona fide dusty.

Note: One good reason to buy the new Lot B is that it probably is the best expression of a Bernheim wheater on the market. It is well documented that the Beams made a lot of changes to Bernheim when HH took over, but the Master Distiller there until the sale was Ed Foote, who was the last Master Distiller at SW, i.e., no slouch at making wheated bourbon.

Thanks for the info, Chuck. Is it getting harder to find ORVW15? I put in a request for it, but it sounded as if the distributer felt it would be hard to track down.

cowdery
06-22-2007, 13:18
Old Rip 15 no longer exists, except what might be out there in the pipeline somewhere. When it became necessary to start using Bernheim whiskey, as the SW supplies dwindled (and got older), Julian converted the Rip 15 into Pappy 15, keeping it SW, and switched the Old Rip 10 over to Bernheim.

squire
06-24-2007, 12:50
Of the two I prefer the Knob Creek but that reflects my individual tastes and does not suggest it is 'better' than Lot B, rather it shows I like rye in the mashbill.

For years, last decade or so, We got Old Rip products in New Orleans. I always liked them and still keep some on hand. They costs more but the quality was worth it. Frankly I never made the Stitzel-Weller connection until joining this board, just thought they were good stuff. Will miss the 15 yr though.

Regards,
Squire

Stu
06-24-2007, 15:17
This thread fascinated me. The time was finally right for me to take the test. For this bourbon rookie, Lot B won by a landslide. But I'm weird in that I prefer Lot B to PVW 15 (I've only had one bottle of 15 however) and I prefer JBB to KC. But that's why I call myself a bourbon rookie!

scopenut
06-25-2007, 13:06
Lot B, while good, always leaves me a bit underwhelmed, esp. when compared to PVW 15 (or 10/107 for that matter). But I think I still prefer it overall to KC, I have a thing for wheaters.

-Kevin