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Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Four Roses Small Batch: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Four Roses Small Batch in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better!

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

NoseWood, chocolate, cinnamon, clove
PalateChocolate, wood, butterscotch, citrus
FinishOak spice, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, vanilla
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Knob Creek

Nose offers oak aroma at first, followed by a hint of chocolate, cinnamon and clove.

On the palate, you get oak spice up-front, with a hint of bitter chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla and a tad of citrus.

There is warmth on the finish as you get a hit of ethanol and a spicy bite rich in oak spice, cinnamon, black pepper and clove with some butterscotch sweetness coming late to the party.

Elijah Craig has a nice nose, a good taste but it lets you down on the finish as it feels warm and spicy.

It becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter and loses some of the heat along the peppery bite.

Is not a bad bourbon by any means, barely making it to the sipper category but definitely needs more persistence than the average bourbon in this price range.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Elijah Craig Whiskey where I rank every release.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Elijah Craig:

  • Elijah Craig is credited as the first distiller to use heavily charred casks to age bourbon.
  • It is made from a mash bill comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley. 
  • It is bottled by blending no less than 200 casks of maturing bourbon, each of which was rested in a Kentucky rickhouse for a minimum of 8 years.
  • This whiskey previously had an age statement of 12 years but in 2016 the age statement was removed to extend its availability.
  • The distiller also increased the maximum number of barrels used per batch from 100 to 200.

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

NoseVanilla, cherry, oak
PalateVanilla, oak, baking spice
FinishLong, burnt caramel
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toFour Roses Select, Single Barrel

The nose is mainly sweet with hints of vanilla, cherry and oak.

On the palate, the Four Roses displays a good creamy body, is rich in vanilla, caramel and rye spice with a faint oaky note.

The finish is long, with very little burn with a nice hint of burnt caramel.

The Four Roses (Similar Bourbons) nicely balances sweet and spicy flavors and is packed with enjoyable hints. 

Creamy and smooth with just the right amount of spice making a great sipper. There is no need to add ice or a drop of water to tune it down as it goes down easy with no harshness.

If you have already tried the Four Roses Yellow Label you will find the Small Batch to be a vast improvement.

It is more tasty and smoother while still providing great value for the money and a satisfying daily drinker.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Four Roses Bourbon where I rank every release.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Four Roses:

  • Made from a blend of four different Kentucky bourbons. Two of the bourbons are made from of a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley, while the other two bourbons are comprised of a mash of 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Each of the bourbons is fermented with a unique, proprietary yeast culture providing a different flavor to the whiskeys in the blend.
  • Each bourbon is aged for a minimum of 4 years at a one-story rickhouse.
  • Only 4 casks are used in the construction of each release.

Elijah Craig vs Four Roses: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Elijah Craig Small Batch$34
Four Roses Small Batch$39

Elijah Craig vs Four Roses: Which Small Batch bourbon is better?

The Four Roses is an easier drinker than the Elijah Craig

WhiskeyElijah CraigFour Roses
  • The Four Roses is smoother and sweeter without the hard edges the Elijah Craig offers making a better sipping bourbon.
  • The Four Roses goes down nicely without needing water nor ice.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a mixer then the Elijah Craig would be the better option as its roughness makes cocktails more tasty; although I’d rather use the Evan Williams which has a lot in common as they are both crafted at the same distillery.

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