Rolling out to stores now, Knob Creek’s new 12-year-old small batch bourbon is set at 100 proof, $60 suggested retail price and permanent availability. The blue-labeled bottle was previously a more limited, allocated release, and the brand says its popularity drove the distiller to keeping it around.
This is the second time in less than a year that Knob Creek has brought back the age statement — the number of years the whiskey was matured, stamped on the bottle — on a widely available bourbon. The first instance was reported in the summer of 2019 by longtime bourbon writer Chuck Cowdery’s, which confirmed the most widely available of Beam Suntory’s popular small batch bourbon whiskey, Knob Creek Small Batch, would get its 9-year age statement back. Bottles of guaranteed 9-year-old Knob Creek will also show up on shelves this year. For whiskey fans, this is cause for celebration.
As the demand for Kentucky bourbon spiked without mercy, industry stock couldn’t keep up. Bottles that once carried age statements were forced to drop them, as batches had to be supplemented with younger whiskey to keep bottles on shelves. Always available between $20 and $30, Knob Creek’s standard, entry-level expression was one of those whiskeys.
The return of its age statement could be a sign the aging warehouses built at the start of the bourbon boom are finally pulling their weight; that perhaps aged whiskey stocks have finally caught up with enormous demand, and we’ll start seeing other distillers bring back age statements on regular offerings.
Bottle transparency is never a bad thing. Especially with one of the best value whiskey brands around. Look for bottles of Knob Creek 12-year-old on shelves now.