Knob Creek 12 Year Cask Strength May be Hitting the Shelves Soon
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Knob Creek 12 Year Cask Strength May be Hitting the Shelves Soon

Knob Creek 12 Year Cask Strength May be Hitting the Shelves Soon

A label was submitted to the TTB for  approval last week, and this submission really came as a surprise to me. Knob Creek 12 Year Cask Strength may be on its way to the market very soon.

This new expressions comes off the heels of the “normal” Knob Creek 12 Year bourbon, which just hit the shelves over the past few months. That offering is bottled at 100 proof, and was received fairly well from the whiskey community. This may be one of the reasons Jim Beam is deciding to make a cask strength variety of their small batch bourbon offering.

According to the label, the new Knob Creek 12 Year Cask Strength bourbon will hold a 12 year age statement and be bottled at 117 proof. There are a couple things about this new label that really intrigue me. Number one is the proof point. The Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is bottled at 120 proof. This however is a 9 year single barrel bourbon as opposed to a small batch. The new cask strength being only 117 proof could be due to a few factors. It is possible that the extra three years in the barrel actually lowered the proof a bit compared to the single barrel. The other reason could be due to rick house location of the 12 year barrels. Often time barrels aged on the lower level of the warehouses don’t end up as high in proof as barrels aged on the upper levels. This is typically due to temperature fluctuations. This Knob Creek 12 Year cask strength will be a small batch bourbon as well. Fred Noe will be blending multiple barrels together, some above and some below 117 proof.

What's Next From Knob Creek?

What I am most curious about is how this new label will effect the Knob Creek single barrel selection program. Will we still be able to find those 12, 13, 14 and 15 year old store picks? And if we can, will they still be priced at ~$45? Who knows. I sure hope Jim Beam has a massive stockpile of these older barrels, but only time will tell. I am also curious what the next label will be that we see show up. A Knob Creek 15 Year cask strength maybe?

No information on price or distribution footprint is available as of yet. Likely the price will be >$70 as that is the price of the normal Knob Creek 12 Year bourbon.

For me personally, I cannot imagine this new cask strength version being that far superior to some of the older single barrel Knob Creek selections I have tried. Given this new cask strength bourbon will be lower proof and likely double the price, I will still be seeking out Knob Creek picks anytime they are available. They still remain one of the best values in bourbon, and I hope it stays that way.

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