I got a Knob Creek for my birthday. I liked it so much I ended up getting the Single Barrel one as well a few days later. But I was wondering – what is the big difference between the two other than the extra 10’s…$10 extra dollars for 10 extra booze percentages?
Small Batch VS Single Barrel…GO!
Comparing the bottles side by side, it becomes apparent that the Single Barrel one has a deeper color (on the right above), but that comparison only works if you have them side by side. Once poured in a glass and separated from the bottle, it is harder to tell which is which. Side by side helps distinguish the darker one, but just try separating them and guessing which is which.
This is where the differences start to emerge. The Small Batch has a fruity nose with hints of toasted oak, maple, honey, roasted nuts, and a sharp booze end, while Single Barrel has a more mature nose with deeper and more robust notes of leather, sweet toasted oak, rich maple, caramel, cinnamon and vanilla without the same sharp booze end.
The Small Batch has a boozy and burny (if that’s even a word) palate with a light to medium mouth-feel and sharper, fruity flavors with hints of oak, vanilla, light maple, cherries that sit on the tongue and tingle the senses. The Single Barrel has a heavier mouth-feel with heavier and deeper notes of cherries, leather, dark maple, toasted American oak (reminds me of a double American oak I had recently) and a longer finish.
The Single Barrel is definitely the heavier, more robust and rounded hitter of the two that goes well at the end of a long day in a quiet room. But the Small Batch is easier to drink and goes well in most cocktails. I enjoyed both with a dash of water, but the Single Barrel still felt a notch better.
Bottom line – try both and if you can’t tell the difference, go for the cheaper one.
Rating: 4.0/5.0 (Small Batch) and 4.5/5.0 (Single Barrel)