What's new

A question for the Bourbon Gurus

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
2,689
How can a liquor store sell Single Barrel Elijah Craig Small Batch? They selected the barrel, bottled it and are using the empty barrel as a promotional giveaway.
 
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
1,968
Sounds like its just the empty barrel at that point. . . they went to the distillery & picked out a barrel they liked - was emptied/bottled & they sold it in their store
Alot of places have "Picked" single barrels from distilleries - makes it a unique buy that you can only get from that particular store
Also why I generally prefer single barrels - unless its from the same barrel, no two bottles are exactly the same
 

nathanw13

DONOR
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
193
Doesn't "small batch" preclude the single barrel idea?
Quote:
Elijah Craig bourbon (Heaven Hill) has a brand expression that it describes on its label as "a true 'Small Batch' Bourbon before the term even existed" that is produced with "200 barrels or less". The batch size for the brand was increased from 100 to 200 barrels in January 2016 when the brand expression's 12-year age statement was also dropped.

The label 'small batch' doesn't actually have any regulations attached to it, so the industry normal usage doesn't always apply the same.
 

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
2,689
Does their use of "small batch" apply to bottling or distilling? Only way I can figure this is that they use pot stills, produce whiskey in "small batches" and move it into barrels. The small batch term doesn't apply to the bottling but the distilling. i.e. no column stills.
 

nathanw13

DONOR
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
193
I'm afraid that's not always the case; like I said, there's no regulation to the term 'small batch'. So while that's certainly one use of the moniker, it's not the only one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_batch_whiskey

I know, wikipedia. But it's pretty spot on.
There's the definition you just gave - "pot still distilling (a batch process) that is common for malt whiskey in Scotland and Ireland"
Then there's "mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels"
Then there's the maker's mark - a whiskey produced using "approximately 1,000 gallons or less (19 barrels) from a mash bill of around 200 bushels of grain"
Then there's the above example from Elijah Hill.

Small batch means different things to different companies.
 

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
2,689
Yep, guess so, I've been told not to get hung up on the definitions too much. Just for giggles I messaged Michael Veach to see if he could clarify for me.

From the Elijah Craig website "Long before the term Small Batch even existed, our Master Distillers were hand-selecting just the right number of barrels to make Elijah Craig".

Kind of takes me back to my original question/assumption that the liquor store bought barrels from the small batch bottling and are just claiming to be selling single barrel. They could not have selected specific barrels for single barrel bottling. Sorry to protract this but I don't like being mislead, if that is the case.
 

nathanw13

DONOR
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
193
Totally understand. This is one of the few cases where I think a little more regulation would be a good thing. A solid definition of what a small batch is and what it is not would go a long way.
 

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
2,689
Heh. Hold your breath.
An email from Heaven Hill confirms my original thoughts. The is no single barrel small batch Elijah Craig. They do produce a single barrel 18 and 23 year Elijah Craig but she admitted that they are unicorns. Out of curiosity I'm going to visit the retailer again this weekend and see if they changed their signs. If not I've learned not to do business with them.
 
Top