Jim Beam Just Added a 7-Year Age Statement to Knob Creek Rye WhiskeyPhotos via Jim Beam Drink News whiskey
Beam Suntory quietly dropped some pretty significant news today, in the form of a revamp of their flagship Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey. That cocktail stalwart, which had always been a non-age-stated rye whiskey, will now carry a 7-year age statement going forward, in what is likely a fairly significant bump in the overall age of the liquid. For those unaware: American whiskey age statements must reflect the youngest spirit in the blend, meaning that everything in a bottle of Knob Creek Rye will now be at least 7 years of age.
That’s a more than respectable age statement in the world of rye whiskey, where age statements always trend a bit lower than in bourbon. Paired with its proof point of 100 (50% ABV), and an MSRP of $37, it represents a pretty undeniable value. One wonders if the age statement was perhaps chosen to trump that of a brand such as Heaven Hill’s Pikesville Rye (6 years, 110 proof), which carries a roughly $50 MSRP. Regardless, this combination of age statement and strength play as well against the field of competitors products as they will likely play in a classic cocktail.
As the company puts it:
Knob Creek® is excited to announce the addition of an age statement to its flagship straight rye whiskey, Knob Creek® 7 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. This update is a testament to the care and innovation behind the super-premium whiskey inside and reinforces Knob Creek’s commitment to continue to produce the world-class whiskies its fans know and love. Made pre-Prohibition style, Knob Creek 7 Year Old Rye is carefully crafted and patiently aged for seven years in deeply charred barrels, producing a full-flavored rye whiskey with notes of American Rye spice, sweet vanilla and oak, in line with what fans have come to expect from Knob Creek.
It’s also a notable announcement in the sense that it continues the prevailing trend seen in the Knob Creek brand in recent years, which has been ever older and more matured releases. Years ago, the flagship Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon had been stripped of its 9-year age statement, but the big number “9” returned in 2020. The brand then debuted a series of new, age-stated bourbons, including 12, 15 and 18-year releases–all of which we have sampled at Paste. The addition of the rye whiskey age statement looks like just another step on that journey, and with greater transparency it’s always the consumer who ultimately wins.