After Heaven Hill Brands announced it’s dropping the Elijah Craig 12-year-old age statement, various bloggers offered passionate commentary about Heaven Hill and age statements. (Read: Cowdery, Sku, RW&B and Bourbon Scout. ) Social media rumors also surfaced about the end of Knob Creek’s 9-year-old age statement.
Owned by Beam Suntory, Knob Creek won best bourbon at last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition and has been one of the most advertised bourbons on television. After the loss of Elijah Craig’s age statement, Knob Creek is arguably the last of the widely distributed age-stated bourbons. (I no longer consider Weller 12-year-old everyday bourbon, and Henry McKenna 10-year-old is not as widely available as Knob Creek.)
Beam Suntory said the rumor was false, adding some international Knob Creek labels do not have age statements. A spokesperson told me international Knob Creek is still 9-years-old, but they choose not to add an age statement because European consumers think of Scotch when seeing aged stated whiskey. There’s no benefit for Knob Creek to feature an age statement outside of the US, especially in Scotch dominated markets, the spokesperson said.
As for the future of the domestic Knob Creek age statement, Beam Suntory said: “we have no current plans to lose the age statement on Knob Creek 9 year.”
Given the fact that distillers have said this in the past, we all know this can change. For the here and now, Knob Creek 9-year-old will stay. The spokesperson did confirm plans to release an older Knob Cree expression. “While we are not releasing a 12-year aged Knob Creek offering, we do have exciting plans in the works for an even older expression later this year,” he said.