The definition of small-batch whiskey varies from distillery to distillery. It is the co-mingling of barrels that creates a desired flavor profile. Small Batch may be as few as three barrels at smaller distilleries, and for larger distilleries, it could be hundreds. However, it was created and marketed to fall between single-barrel offerings and the mass mingling of barrels.

Jim Beam small batch collection

In 1992, Basil Hayden, Baker’s, and Knob Creek joined Booker’s to make up the Jim Beam small batch collection. Each one is different in flavor, presentation, and proof. Fast forward to today, and they are entrenched in the bourbon marketplace. Basil Hayden has become a favorite of many people new to bourbon because of its easy character and 80 proof.

Each product within the small-batch collection has different proof levels.

The name Booker’s is in honor of the great Booker Noe. His namesake bourbon is uncut and unfiltered, and proof levels vary from release to release. They are typically in the 120-proof range.

Basil Hayden’s popularity has skyrocketed, and there are now many different product releases. It is revered as an easy-drinking entry-level bourbon by many. It is bottled and sold at 80 proof.

Baker’s bourbon carries the name of Baker Beam, a grand-nephew to the legendary Jim Beam. Baker’s was initially marketed as a small batch of bourbon, known as a single barrel release. It features a 7-year age statement and sold at 107 proof.

Knob Creek is the only small Batch not named after an individual. It is a storied creek in Kentucky that bordered the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln. Knob Creek is 9-year-old, bottled at 100-proof, and released in multiple variations.

A Review of two very different small-batch whiskeys from the Beam small-batch collection

An image of Knob Creek 18 year old bottle. On of two very different small batch whiskeys

During our review of Knob Creek’s 18-year-old small-batch bourbon alongside Basil Hayden Malted Rye, we saw a complete contrast in flavor, presentation, and finish. The malting of the rye made this Basil Hayden softer and less robust than a typical rye whiskey. Sampled next to the bold 18-year Knob Creek was a challenge to the senses. For a complete review of these two very different small-batch whiskeys, watch our VIDEO HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of my blog followers, tasting attendees, video subscribers, friends, and family, I wish you good tidings and a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. I am so very thankful for the many great people I have met through my bourbon journey, including my great friend and video partner Charlie Berry, the very generous Raj Patel, who allowed me samples of his extraordinary bourbon collection, the one-of-a-kind Freddie Johnson, who taught me about life and bourbon. Most importantly, I am very thankful that my wife continues to be in good health and inspires me with her courage against a formidable illness.