Thursday, June 13, 2019

Knob Creek to Restore 9-Year Age Statement, Baker's to Become Single Barrel

You know how brands have been losing their age statements these last few years? Well, one major brand is bringing theirs back. The standard expression of Knob Creek Bourbon will once more have a 9-year age statement on the label.

About four years ago, Beam Suntory realized that with Knob's sales growth, they didn't have enough inventory in the pipeline to keep it going as a 9-year, so the age statement was gradually eliminated. Many other brands around the industry have had the same problem and done the same thing. Fred Noe and son Freddie have been agitating to bring it back. Sometime early next year, a new updated label will appear, with the age statement. (Same bottle and wax seal.)

"People maybe don't care about the age of Jim Beam white label," says Fred Noe. "But the person who orders a Knob Creek manhattan, he wants to know it’s 9 years old."

It looks like the inventory will also allow some limited releases of older age-stated Knob.

In other news, Baker's Bourbon is getting a new look and becoming a single-barrel product. That change will happen sooner, probably this fall. Baker Beam has been working with Fred and Freddie on the changes. It will still be 7-years-old (age stated) and 107° proof.

Both changes were announced this week at a Beam sales meeting.

Baker's and Knob Creek were launched in the early 1990s, along with Booker's and Basil Hayden, as the Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbons Collection.


Unknown said...

Great news. Do you think adding back the age statement is a trend, or just a one off.

Also, can you say whether or not they are going to truly be 'single barrels?

Chuck Cowdery said...

(1) I don't know. (2) I have no reason to think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Meeting was in Las Vegas.

Anonymous said...

Good news, but shocking to me. I never thought the age statement would return. I figured the damage to the brand among a small segment of drinkers was done and NAS allows them to make more, cheaper bourbon for everybody else. I figured if they ever reached a surplus of older juice, they wouldn't bring back the 9 year, they'd just start introducing various "special releases" at a higher price point.

Anonymous said...

I figured something was up with Baker's when Costco was blowing them out for less than 30 bucks. Can't wat for the new stuff. Thanks Chuck!

Brian (AKA The Dean) said...

I'm also surprised, but pleasantly so. But I have to say, I don't think Knob suffered too much with the age statement removal. And (possibly due to that), the prices on it have been very reasonable here in Florida.

I don't expect to see such great deals when the 9-year statement returns. I just hope it's worth the upcharge.

Ben D said...

Great news!! I felt silly hanging on to this last bottle of Age Stated Knob Creek.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for info Chuck!!

When I learned the Knob Creek age statement was being dropped I ran out and cleaned out the shelf of my local store. I am down to my last 2 bottles. I tried the NAS juice and was not happy with the flavor and never bought Knob Creek again.

But, I tried tons of other bourbons since then and now know there are a lot of great cheaper bourbons out there, e. g. Evan Williams BIB.

So, if Beam wants to regain the trust of its former a KC fans, then it should apologize for even putting the NAS stuff on the shelf.

Is it possible the KC NAS was/is getting dusty on store shelves forcing Beam to do this???

This whole thing reminds me of when COKE changed its formula.

Disco Stu said...

After having lunch with the main man last week it's a big deal that the labels return to age statement and the Bakers is becoming single barrel as there is a surplus amount of top notch bourbon in stock for this to continue.
I look forward to seeing the new labels and trying the Bakers.

Brian (AKA The Dean) said...

Probably not even worth posting at this point, but I just picked up a bottle of Knob Creek. Brand new label--dramatically different. I was hoping it was the new, 9 year old stuff. But it has no age statement, just the regular old Knob Creek, I suspect. But why make a major label change shortly before making a major change to the whiskey itself? I wonder if they are just going to slap a 9-year age statement on this new label--there's plenty of white space available.

Anyway, the price was right. I'm going to try a blind test with the some of the NAS I already have open.

Chuck Cowdery said...

We're still the better part of a year away from the age-stated bottles appearing in stores.

kaiserhog said...

I've been critical of Beam-Suntory for doing away with age statement for Knob Creek and Jim Beam Black Label. Age Statements are not marketing (although they can help with that), they are information for the customer. I commend Beam-Suntory for restoring them. Kudos to Fred and Booker Noe for making it happen.

jeffdengr said...

After dropping the age statement and changing the recipe, I got headaches from drinking Knob Creek. Figured the new owners are going cheap and like everything these days, it has been turned to crap.