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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    The Garden State
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    542

    Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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?

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Massillon, Oh.
    Posts
    1,245

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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!

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ball Ground, GA
    Posts
    611

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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.

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Greenwood, IN
    Posts
    724

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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.

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    405

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    These are 2 winners. I'm looking forward to the RR1b at 110 proof. I'm predicting a similar quality product, possibly superior.

  6. #6
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    44

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by JayMonster View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    SW Iowa
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    3,038

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Suburbs of Houston, Texas
    Posts
    503

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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..

  9. #9
    Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    54

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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
    "Bad Bad Whiskey made me lose my happy home"
    -- Amos Milburn 1951

  10. #10
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    36

    Re: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs. Knob Creek Single Barrel

    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.

 

 

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