Drought Concerns for Knob Creek

13 July, 2009 by

By Andrew Starke

Fans of Knob Creek bourbon may find their favourite whisky in short supply this winter as the brand is experiencing a shortage in the US and new batches are only expected to be ready in November.

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Bourbon experts say the undersupply is somewhat unusual, although brands such as Knob Creek, which is aged for nine years, are more susceptible because distillers must predict demand far in advance.

Beam Global, itself part of Fortune Brands, sells about 150,000 cases of Knob Creek annually, putting it at the top of the company’s small batch collection, but well below Maker’s Mark, and its flagship Jim Beam bourbon which is aged four years.

However, cynics in the US have queried the shortage, noting that Beam Global has been quick to use the shortage as a marketing tool.

A recent company statement announcing the shortage carried the headline ‘thanks for nothing’ and said the brand will be ‘even more popular and profitable once supply is restored’.

“We could bottle the next batch of Knob Creek a tad earlier than nine years to satisfy demand, but that just wouldn’t be right,” Beam Global Spirits & Wine US president Bill Newlands said. “Much as we want to keep product available, like Booker Noe, we would never compromise on quality, or bottle at lower proof to fill a short-term gap.”

Knob Creek is not distributed in Australia by Beam Global and relies on smaller independents.