101 Whiskey

Small Batch Whiskey Explained

In this article, we explain small batch whiskey and share how it often leads to better tasting whiskeys.

Questions You May Be Considering

  • What is a small batch whiskey?
  • How is small batch whiskey different from normal whiskey?
  • Why do people like small batch whiskey?
  • Who makes the best small batch whiskey?

Typical Barreling Process

It may surprise you, but the majority of whiskey bottles are distilled from the contents of over a thousand whiskey barrels. Let’s take Jack Daniel’s for example, a single bottle is poured from a vat of whiskey that comes from many different barrels. Each whiskey barrel, Jack Daniel’s retains a portion of the liquid, let’s say 20%, and adds new whiskey contents to the barrel for aging. The 20% is retained in the barrel to ensure the experience is consistent and every bottle tastes identical; hence, the volume of barrels increases due to the retention from prior mixtures. If your whiskey doesn’t contain ‘small batch’ or ‘single barrel’ on the label, you can assume it’s coming from a process similar to the one described here.

Small Batch Process

After reading the typical barreling process, your anticipation is correct, a small batch whiskey comes from – fewer barrels (i.e. fewer/smaller batches of whiskey). The processing of small batch whiskey is more complicated and expensive as the production is less broad and more tedious. There is added craftsmanship in small batch whiskey, but they don’t compare to single barrel whiskeys, which come from a single barrel.

Small batch whiskey has a bit of controversy. Regulation does not exist to provide restrictions on what can be labeled a ‘small batch’ whiskey. Some small batch whiskeys are distilled from 10 or fewer barrels, while others are distilled from a few hundred. This makes it difficult to interpret the distilling process based on the label alone.

Let’s consider all the whiskey processes by sharing an example. Olympic Wrestler Jordan Burroughs competed against the best MMA wrestler, Ben Askren, in a sanctioned wrestling match. Jordan effortlessly whooped Ben’s ass like an older brother. Jordan was candid in his post-fight interview stating, ‘there’s levels to this.’ The same can be said for whiskey. There is normal whiskey (Jack Daniel’s), then small batch whiskey (Elijah Craig), and finally single barrel whiskey (Henry McKenna). I’m the normal whiskey, Ben is the small batch whiskey, and Jordan is the single barrel as it relates to wrestling.

Importance of Small Batch Whiskey

Small batch whiskeys commonly have more complex flavors due to the rigor in producing them. Master distillers are heavily involved in small batch and single barrel whiskeys as additional tasting measures are implemented to distill a delicious whiskey. It would be pointless to create a small batch whiskey if there’s no intention of adding additional effort. It would make less sense than an amateur boxer going professional after getting knocked out in their first two bouts. Staying on subject, it would make less sense than Snooki pausing her current endeavors to pursue a career in astrophysics.

Distilleries label a whiskey ‘small batch’ to attract experienced consumers seeking bolder flavors. Consumers rely on the labeling to influence purchasing decisions, so they don’t end up with shitty whiskey (i.e. Jack Daniel’s).

Degenerate Discussion

The whiskey industry is the exact opposite of the adult film industry (hear us out on this one). Distillers seek to refine their process in pursuit of bolder, more complex flavors. This causes them to use smaller whiskey batches and brag about their small distilling process to attract consumers. The smaller the batch; the better the taste.

In adult film, the bigger the better. A girl with no implants in porn is more rare than an Instagram Influencer with a personality. The shapes are wildly distorted too. 5′ 1”, 100 pound gals are running around with DD’s, and the ass to leg ratios look like a lollipop (legs are the stick and the sucker is the ridiculously giant ass). Let’s also not pretend Ron Jeremy ever made it because of his good looks, it was his giant cock (glad that monster is in custody). Lex Steele also doesn’t get his name for being ‘average.’

In conclusion, the whiskey world gets it right. The smaller batch process gets more natural and unique flavors. The adult film industry should consider taking notes and using ‘natural’ as a way to describe people. Thanks for keeping it real whiskey; cheers Degenerates!

List of Recommended Small Batch Whiskeys

  • Elijah Craig Small Batch
  • Four Roses Small Batch
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Michter’s Bourbon Small Batch
  • Old Forester 1870 Original Batch
  • Willett

One reply on “Small Batch Whiskey Explained”

Totally agree with everything you say in this article. The more real and natural it is, the better. Anything artificial may look or taste good but in the end IS IT REALLY BETTER??
I’m just a year into whiskeys and bourbons and just a newbie so just take my words for what it’s worth. Have quite a few selections of whiskeys but the ones I enjoy the most are small batches. I have others that I enjoy also but for now, small batches are my favs. And that’s just me. Thanks for the article

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