The Difference between Single Barrel and Small Batch Whiskey

Enjoying a dram of whiskey can be a tad confusing if you’re not familiar with the jargon surrounding this tasty spirit. We’ve talked about the difference between whiskey, whisky, scotch, and bourbon, but that’s really just the beginning of whiskey terms you probably want to know. A common whiskey-related question people ask is the difference between single barrel and small batch whiskey. As a cooperage that specializes in small batch barrels, we think it’s an important topic. Here are a few key differences:

People often get the terms “small batch” and “single barrel” mixed up. However there are several very distinct differences.

Single barrel refers to bourbon that comes from, well, a single barrel. This barrel is usually handpicked by the master distiller based on a particular set of stipulations. This allows for the spirit to have a specific flavor that can’t be replicated elsewhere. No two single barrels taste the same as no two barrels are the same.

Small batch whiskey’s definition can get a little more complicated. Essentially, a small batch is comprised of a select number of barrels that are mixed together to create a desired taste. The chosen barrels are selected purposely as they will complement and combine well together. Small batch whiskey can be comprised of somewhere between 10-50 barrels. This is just a basic guide as many distilleries set their own standards.

Whether you’re looking to try your hand at craft distilling with a small batch or a single barrel, the quality at The Barrel Mill can’t be matched.