Everyone loves a small batch whiskey. So much better than a big batch one. Nobody wants a big batch. So for all your small batch lovers out there, we have rounded up some of our favourites from Scotland, America, Ireland and beyond.

What is small batch whiskey?

Ah small batch! Say those magical words and you have an image of a grizzled old master blender putting chalk marks on a couple of barrels in a vast warehouse so that they would be saved for a special bottling rather than going into the standard blend. 

Sadly the term ‘small batch’ is essentially meaningless. It has no legal definition in America or Europe. Small batch could be three casks or 3,000. But it does usually designate a step up in quality, especially among large American whiskey brands. While for small producers and bottlers, the term often refers to a whisky that’s produced in limited quantities but from more than a single cask (which is a term to look at another day).

So while you can take those two words with a good pinch of salt, it doesn’t mean that you should overlook some great small batch whiskies like we have below. 

The best small batch whiskies

Small batch whisky - Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy 10 Year Old 2013 – Small Batch Edition #10 (Signatory) 70cl

It’s a term that’s more used outside Scotland but there are some small batch single malt Scotch whiskies too. Indie bottler Signatory presents a lovely Aberfeldy single malt Scotch whisky, matured in oloroso sherry casks for a decade. The Highland small batch release was bottled at 48.2% ABV, free from chill-filtration and or added colour.

Small batch whisky Penderyn

Penderyn Ex Rye Casks Small Batch Whisky 70cl

This single malt Welsh whisky from Penderyn was matured in casks that previously held rye whiskey from Jack Daniels, adding layers of spice to the fruity, double distilled whisky at its heart. A limited outturn of 2,050 bottles, at 50% ABV, so this is definitely a small batch.

Small batch whisky Teeling small batch

Teeling Small Batch Whiskey 70cl

The flagship expression from Dublin’s Teeling, the Small Batch Irish whiskey is made with a blend of malt and grain whiskeys, initially aged in bourbon barrels. Following that, the Teeling folks moved the whiskey over to casks that had previously held Central American rum! In these casks, the whiskey had an extra rest for up to 12 months, before being bottled at 46% ABV without any chill-filtration. Wonderfully full-flavoured, with plenty of fresh fruit, creamy vanilla and lively spice notes to enjoy!

Kinahan Small batch whisky

Kinahan’s Small Batch Irish Whiskey 70cl

A blended Irish whiskey here from the Kinahan’s range, which was originally established all the way back in 1779! Over the years Kinahan’s received two royal warrants and became the whiskey of choice for legendary American bartender Jerry Thomas. It disappeared during the 1900s, however, but it’s recently been relaunched on the very same street in Dublin where it was founded all the way back then – Trinity Street.

Never Say Die Small batch whisky

Never Say Die Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey 70cl

The latest batch of Never Say Die, a Kentucky straight bourbon that was shipped to England to mature, is here! This cask strength whiskey is made up of a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley, and bottled at 47.5% ABV. As with all NSD whiskey, it was distilled in Kentucky and matured at the White Peak Distillery (which makes Wire Works whisky) in England.

EH Taylor Small Batch Whisky

Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch Whiskey 70cl 

This small batch bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, an incredibly important figure in bourbon’s history from the 1800s who owned a whole host of distilleries and created new production methods which are still used today. It’s only right that the Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch lives up to his name by being absolutely amazing.

Small batch whiskey Small Roses

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey 70cl

Four Roses Small Batch is a step up from the classic Four Roses Bourbon, showcasing the variety of mash bills that the distillers have to work with in Lawrenceburg – and their talents at making them sing together. Ten bourbon recipes are produced by Four Roses, and four of them are blended to create this approachable but flavoursome expression. Great value-for-money stuff, this.

Small batch whiskies Ninkasa

Ninkasi Small Batch 70cl

From French whisky makers Ninkasi comes the Small Batch 2022, a single malt aged for three years and 10 months in marsanne casks, a variety of white wine which was used after master distiller Alban Perret met with French winegrowers for maturation inspiration. The brand recommends pairing this whisky with “semi-cooked duck foie gras” (with fleur de sel, naturally), or with a blue-veined cheese like bleu des Causses or Roquefort. Ninkasi’s own tasting note for this whisky also remarks that “gluttony is not far away”.