Review: Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Years Old (2008)

Review: Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Years Old (2008)

The unofficial well Bourbon at Drinkhacker HQ? Knob Creek.

It’s 100 proof, so it can get a little hot when drinking straight, but add a touch of water and KC mellows out nicely. “The Creek” has everything you want in a Bourbon without being too complicated. Mild vanilla and toasty oak notes, backed up with cedary spiciness and a grainlike character that calls out to the sour mash base from which Bourbon arises.

This isn’t a sweet whiskey like many modern, juice-cocktail-friendly blends. This is a Bourbon for simple drinks, retro and classic cocktails (it’s great in a Manhattan), and the occasional shot. Knob Creek is, to put it in terms as sexist as possible, a man’s drink.

Oh, and at $26 a bottle (and often cheaper), it’s not too expensive, though it is a step up in price from Jim Beam, JD, or Evan Williams. In fact, it’s a bit similar to Jack Daniel’s, and I often recommend it to JD drinkers who are looking to move up to something in the neighborhood… but better.

Also very cool: The Knob Creek folks sent me the bottle below with a custom label and my name on it. Now if that doesn’t make drinking fun, I don’t know what does. Order your own — the label is free; you provide the bottle of whiskey.

100 proof.


Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Years Old (2008)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. phil hundt on November 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    i don’ know what you are tasting but in no way knob creek bourbon tastes like jack daniels, knob creek has a taste profile of cinnamon and honey flavor whereas jack daniels tastes like burnt wood!

  2. Christopher Null on November 19, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Phil – I agree and I didn’t mean to imply that.

  3. The Absinthe Review Network on February 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    This is one of my favourite bournbon brands of all time. Tragically, the liquor stores near my house are braindead enough not to carry it, so I’m forced to purchase it online, where I have no choice but to shell out 25-30% more than what I’d pay in a store…

  4. J. Lindsey on February 17, 2009 at 8:55 am

    KC makes for a very potent and tasty Old Fashioned, as well. I find it a little too harsh by itself. How does this compare to Maker’s Mark?

  5. Luke H. on February 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I find this better than Maker’s Mark. The flavor is excellent and the proof is a step up from that of MM. A solid, all-around new favorite. Step aside, Jack.

  6. Jeff on March 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Maker’s Mark is better of the two IMO. To me it’s smoother and has a sweeter flavor. KC is good but it’s a little flat and harsh. Not to mention MM costs $7 less in my area.

  7. JimmyZATL on October 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I prefer Knob Creek over any Bourbon. The Rye stands up and makes you take notice. Get some Makers Mark, if you don’t like Rye.

  8. Volbourbon on September 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I love Knob Creek, Knob Creek Single Barrel and Bookers. I am also a fan of the white label Jim Beam. It depends really what mood I am in, what I choose to drink. I am also a Jack Daniel’s whiskey fan. I find the Lincoln County process fascinating. Good ole’ Acer saccharum! I think this is a great time to be a bourbon lover, lots of stuff out there waiting to be discovered, and lots of great blogs to cover them! Thank you.

  9. Boe on December 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I really like Knob Creek. It’s like a bolder, more flavorful Beam Black which I like also but not like KC. I haven’t had any lately because I’m trying different bottles each time. I like a rye forward bourbon, but not too much on the rye side. Right now I’m working on a bottle of Old Grand-Dad 114. I like it but not as much as KC for a sipper. I’m tempted to blend some with a lower proof, slighly sweeter and woodier bourbon. I don’t like water in my bourbon so I tend not to dilute that way. Anyway, I give KC about a 3.75 out of 5. Good stuff.

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