American Whiskey - Bourbon

Knob Creek 9yr Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Rating Information

  • Proof66 Rating
    733 / 904
    Rabble Rating
    4.0 / 5.0
    Price (USD)
    $31
    Proof
    100.0
    0-10 miles

Rating Description

98th Percentile
This score falls in the 98th percentile of all spirits in the Whiskey category and is an example of the very best in its class.

Proof66 Notes

Knob Creek bourbon is part of Jim Beam's "small batch collection," which is intended to create handcrafted spirits capable of competing with the specialty boutique bourbons from smaller distilleries.

Knob Creek, aged for 9 full years and personally selected by the master distiller, is considered one of the most successful premium bourbons on the market. In the summer of 2009, Proof66 was informed that Jim Beam was in danger of "running out" of Knob Creek due to its success but (after all, it takes nine years to make) they would not compromise the quality by attempting to artificially increase production.

We had our own thoughts about this whiskey after a tasting run by Master Distiller Fred Noe.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2005
  • 2010
  • 2013
  • 2014

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2005
  • 2014
jaketaz jaketaz (65) (2014-10-02)
When I started drinking bourbon I thought this tasted like bile. Now that I've been exploring bourbon for about ten years, I feel the same. The accolades and boutique allure really mystify me, there are bourbons of every stripe that do better than this in terms of complexity of flavor, smoothness, or even harshness if that's what you're looking for. Plenty of high-proofs like Stagg Jr. and Backbone taste smoother, plenty of flavor-heavies like Michter's and Elijah have more going on, and the super-smoothies like Four Roses and Bulleit won't give you that awful burn this does. I swear this alcohol burns more than any I've ever had. Way too much oak, too harsh to sip and too overpowering for a cocktail.
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BDanner BDanner (35) (2014-09-27)
Had this last night while out. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this (I don't purchase it often @ $36 a bottle)! On the rocks, this stuff is heaven in a glass. A flavor profile that is so simple, yet hard to put into words. Vanilla and caramel? Spiced apple? Just sweet enough with a TON of oak. Remarkably smooth for a 100 proof bourbon, it goes down with very limited burn. Neat, it is a little rough around the edges, but in a good way if that makes sense. Definitely get more fire in the finish neat. The "oak and smoke" are what sets this ahead of the rest of the pack. I'd give this six stars if I could.
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mynoseknows mynoseknows (14) (2014-09-25)
An entry level boutique bourbon that will impress your friends. Drink it with a Japanese ice ball in a tumbler. Pour one shot over the ice ball.
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voiceofsticks voiceofsticks (14) (2014-09-23)
Good depth of flavors on the palate and just the right combo of smoothness and kick in the finish. $23 in Maryland on 1/18/2014. Not my favorite but pretty good overall.
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joeg73 joeg73 (5) (2014-08-25)
This has been my go-to for years. Any time I'm ordering a bourbon at the bar or picking some up at the liquor store, this is what I go with. At 100 proof, I rarely drink it neat. I usually go with some cool water or on the rocks
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Irishman Irishman (251) (2014-07-09)
I have been enjoying Knob Creek for many years now and it was actually one of the first bourbons I ever had. Back in my bourbon newbie days, it was a little rough, but after acquiring an appreciation for a full bodied, robust, lively oak flavored whiskey - there's not much that can beat it at this price.
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Ihavenoidea Ihavenoidea (1) (2014-04-27)
Probably not for everyone, but once I tried KC all other bourbons seem to lack flavor. This is my go-to. Try it neat, add 2 ice cubes and sip.
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Muncher Muncher (116) (2014-03-29)
I've agreed with Edith before. I think she's wrong here. Not harsh, just strong flavors. Better than Four Roses and equal (but different) to Blanton's. To me the profile is strong, but for the most part balanced. Kind of like the bourbon version of a lightly peated Islay scotch.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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derkerderr derkerderr (70) (2014-01-27)
This isn't the worst bourbon on the planet but I find it to be highly overrated. I was expecting to have my mind blown but only ended up with my money blown. It's drinkable and I like that it's 100 proof but there are better options at this products price range.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (56) (2014-01-26)
I can't believe this is rated in the top 10%. It's just not good at all. For the price, it's horrible. Like another rater said, it is very very harsh. It's burn in the mouth and throat and a bitter (Jim Beam brand) aftertaste. I can't believe anyone who voted this into the Top 10 has ever tasted anything like Four Roses or Blanton's.
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dinglebarryspls dinglebarryspls (10) (2014-01-03)
knob creek makes you rethink your entire existence. are you man? or are you dancer? is this real life? or just fantasy, caught in a land slide? is there an escape from reality? knob creek will open your eyes look up to the sky and see. that this whiskey makes you piss fucking excellence.
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gmish gmish (14) (2014-01-03)
Shits amazing
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vinevine vinevine (4) (2013-11-11)
Needs to be in the 700 club. Awesome.
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TimeToGoHome TimeToGoHome (32) (2013-10-29)
Starts with the caramel. Finishes with a smooth burn.
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NeatPour NeatPour (172) (2013-08-11)
If you're looking for a very smooth easily drinkable bourbon I don't think this one is for you. My first pour didn't go we'll but after dabbling around and comming back I find that this really is a rich complex bourbon. Lots of character but unless you really like bourbon this maybe off putting at first. However if you stick with it you may find it makes a more lasting impression than many of the more easy going bourbons
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Dakota Dakota (136) (2013-07-08)
Wow
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slutsontrial slutsontrial (1) (2013-06-24)

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chadejah chadejah (3) (2013-04-11)
Lots of apple in the nose and in the flavor, but the Beam trashiness shows through in the finish. Wont seek out again, not a bottle buy.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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cincyhound cincyhound (4) (2013-02-08)
I have to honest in that I am not a very big fan of any Jim Beam bourbons. Someone gave this to me as a present, so I did end up sampling it on several occasions. Never did warm up to it, so it was relegated to "well stock" I use for mixed drinks and cooking.
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Allan Allan (119) (2013-01-30)
Bold and spicy and at first a bit harsh. This to me is because of the higher than normal proof. Add a single ice cube to the glass and it opens up nicely. Then flavors of fruit and smoke are rather pleasant. A good price for a 9yr bourbon.
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monkeyxx monkeyxx (40) (2012-11-18)
oh my GOD this is a good bourbon.  It's fierce and mean, but complex.  It's got such a ramp of flavor when you sip it.  So manly, so American.  The only thing I've tried that I like better than Old Crow Reserve, however much more expensive.  Four Roses (single barrel I think?) was excellent too.  I guess a bourbon has to do something special for me to want to spend this kind of money on it.  the mid price range never seems to do much for me n whiskey...I go high or low, I guess
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mclarkwvu mclarkwvu (5) (2012-10-27)
Knob Creek is a personal favorite, as I like to mix my bourbon. Drank straight, the harsh nature of 100 liquor will overpower any of its redeeming qualities that can be cut through with some coke or 7. Smooth, spicy, with warm undertones or a slight vanilla or toffee, that is soon replaced with the smokey sweetness of the charred white oak barrels. Truly a salute to American bourbon making history!
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nathanbruley nathanbruley (7) (2012-06-26)
Really smooth without sacrificing flavor. Oak and caramel flavors, definitely good with one cube, would recommend
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bourbob bourbob (24) (2012-05-15)
Its actually somewhat harsh. Overrated for sure.
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magezi magezi (56) (2012-04-16)
One of the best bourbons I have tasted. Big and very smooth, honey,liqourice, raisin, very much corn syrup. Aftertaste has rye (maybe) battling with corn which lingers forever.  Very much same kind of taste like Jim Beam black, but if JB Black is volkswagen beetle, this is definitely Porche! Got a picture?
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wenlidd wenlidd (8) (2011-11-13)
SO SMOOTH AND KNOBBY DOES IT RIGHT.
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Aluman Aluman (2) (2011-09-14)
Nose: Mostly floral in nature, I can't quite pin down a secondary scent, and finally charcoal overtones. Taste (w/o water): The aclchol in this tends to overwhelm, though the charcoal nature comes through a bit a burnt offering of sorts. Taste (w about 1-2oz of water): With a bit of time for dilution and softening the alchol nature of this a taste of fruitiness comes through it remains dry however and kinda burnt. Of the high dollar bourbon's this one is mid grade.  Its not quite top shelf, but certainly well worth having around.
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TheSippingLife TheSippingLife (111) (2011-04-27)
KC is a bourbon I find hampered by the power of its relative harshness compared to others like Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace. There are good flavors and this is a solid bourbon, but the harshness (partially a result of its increased proof over its competitors) was a bit of a turn-off for me. Nevertheless, I wouldn't want to steer those curious away from this one. It deserves a shot against the rest of the field, and I'm honestly interested to try the newer KC models. Try this one for the sake of the enthusiasm for spirits, and let the chips fall where they may.
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jfatt340 jfatt340 (15) (2010-08-05)
This bottle works best when you have a large pocket that it will fit into.
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Phizbin Phizbin (188) (2008-10-03)
I know a lot of people love this bourbon... but I can't get into it. It tastes too much like charcoal for me. I have to douse it in other stuff in an old-fashioned or sweet vermouth in a manhattan in order to make it work.
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Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 080686016106
  • 080686646402
  • 080686639466
  • 080686016601
  • 080686016205
  • 080686016908
  • 080686016403
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