View Full Version : Comparisons between the Small Batch bourbons and other brands.
I've only been interested (nay reasonably obsessed) with Whiskey in the last few months or so, and down here in Australia, the range is significantly smaller than elsewhere. What is generally available in the high-level market is the Beam Small Batch 4, but these really do get up in price.
I was curious as to any comparisons between these four and other brands in taste profiles. Without extensive experience I thought that:
The Baker's bourbon (which currently is my fave of the Small Batch range) was similar to the Evan Williams SB ('93)
The Knob Creek (which I've only had in bars) is similar to the Elijah Craig 12 year old.
The Basil Hayden's (Which I like, but only in very specific moods) to me is close to Gentleman Jack in terms of subtlety
The Bookers I have seen no comparison to yet.
What other bourbon's are considered similar to these four. I'm probably a bit off in tasting, since I don't get much of a chance to compare these due to price.
You seem to be tasting the effects of aging. Knob Creek is, essentially, an older version of Baker's while EC 12 is an older version of EWSB. Although BH is aged more than GJ most people consider both to be on the mild, maybe even bland side. Therefore, something like Russell's Reserve might resemble KC and EC 12, while George Dickel No. 12 might compare well with BH and GJ. For something similar to Baker's and EWSB, maybe Woodford Reserve.
You could be right there. The first bourbon I bought with the intention to drink straight (rather than with Coke) was the Basil Hayden's. It was a combination of being slightly cheaper and the knowledge that it's considered a entry to the 'boutique' upper-class bourbons. I think it's a decent drop, although after trying the WT and EWSB 93 as my common drink, the Basil has become less distinct, and the sweetness and spice and been lost to an astringent taste at the back of the throat.
I really like the EWSB, and soon as I finish this 93, will try to pick up a 91 or 94. The chocolate/malt taste i get from the EWSB is what enticed me to the Baker's recently. So far it's my fave of the Small batch, since the high proof of the Baker's makes it tough for a novice to down without mass dilution.
Another Q though... Is aging a necessary indicator to the quality of a bourbon? The Knob Creek is 9 years old, and the Baker's is 7. To me the Baker's is by far a smoother drop, and the Knob has some aftertaste I can't name.
Aging is a characteristic, not an indicator or prerequisite for quality. It is, however, a characteristic that the maker has to spend money to produce, therefore it is reflected in the price. Older is not necessarily better, unless the characteristics you seek in whiskey are those which occur only after long aging, but that is a personal preference, not an objective standard.
my father always said of you take horse manure and age it for 10 years, and then bottle it, all you have is 10 year old horse s**t
My personal preference order of the Small Batch collection is:
1) Knob Creek - to me, it is close to perfect, especially on a cold, crisp winter evening
2) Booker's - its like Knob Creek on steroids http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
3) Baker's - okay, but it leaves me with an astringent aftertaste that I don't really care for
4) I cannot comment on Basil Hayden's, as I have never tried it
Also, I note that Wild Turkey Rare Breed is available to you in Australia. That is one of my all-time favorites, certainly in my top five.
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