Knob Creek’s new 10 Year Old rye whiskey

By Jonah Flicker 13 June, 2024

Knob Creek’s new whiskey will be a permanent fixture in the brand’s lineup

About a year ago, Knob Creek added a seven-year-old age statement to its rye whiskey, a move that wasn’t entirely surprising given the addition of 12, 15, and 18-year-old aged expressions to the bourbon lineup. This month, the brand, part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection, announced the launch of something even older: a new 10-year-old rye whiskey that will be a permanent addition to the portfolio.

Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey is not that old, in terms of the label’s actual existence, that is. The brand, produced at the James B. Beam Distilling Co., added rye to its lineup just over a decade ago in 2012. But the entire Small Batch Collection debuted about 30 years ago when legendary master distiller Booker Noe decided to add a quartet of new whiskeys to the Beam catalogue: Booker’s, Basil Hayden, Baker’s, and Knob Creek. “When my grandfather created Knob Creek over 30 years ago, he set out with the intention to craft a premium whiskey without shortcuts, and we’re excited to continue his legacy,” said eighth-generation master Freddie Noe, and Booker’s grandson, in a statement. “Whiskey enthusiasts know when they’re drinking our whiskey, it’s aged to perfection and crafted with exceptional full flavour. We’re excited to bring an extra-aged rye whiskey with even more robust flavors from a decade of aging in our barrels.”

If you’re a fan of Knob Creek Rye, or just Kentucky-style rye whiskey in general made from the “barely legal” mashbill of somewhere just above the 51 percent required rye grain, you are going to enjoy this new whiskey. It’s a bit more tannic and oaky than the seven-year-old, as you’d expect, but there are a range of other flavors to round out the palate like caramel, brown sugar, prune, Dr. Pepper, and belt leather dipped in vanilla (if you’ve never done that before, you’re missing out). It’s bottled at 100 proof like all of the core Knob Creek expressions, and there’s a bit of black pepper and baking spice on the finish—two reasons why you should absolutely use this in a cocktail.

There are some other 10-year-old rye whiskeys out there that might be fun to compare this to, like Michter’s 10 Year Rye (always a favourite), WhistlePig 10 Year (made in Canada), and Templeton 10 Year Rye (made using the 95/5 mashbill at MGP). Beam also has a few others expressions that would be good to taste side-by-side to see how different brands from the same distillery compare, namely Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year and Basil Hayden 10 Year.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA