Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Rare Breed in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
|Nose||Wood, chocolate, cinnamon, clove|
|Palate||Chocolate, wood, butterscotch, citrus|
|Finish||Oak spice, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, vanilla|
|Alcohol content||94 proof (47% ABV)|
|How to drink||Rocks, cocktails|
|Similar to||Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Buffalo Trace|
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 how it compares to the Knob Creek!
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.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
|Nose||Vanilla, caramel, oak|
|Palate||Baking spice, burnt sugar, vanilla, oak, old leather|
|Finish||Vanilla, old leather, oak char|
|Alcohol content||116 proof (58% ABV)|
|How to drink||Rocks, cocktails|
|Similar to||Four Roses Single Barrel, Kentucky Spirit|
On the nose, the Rare Breed offers an aroma rich in honey, along cinnamon, charred oak and very little ethanol to it.
On the palate, the Rare Breed delivers a good creamy texture, pleasing warmth up-front, with butterscotch, brown sugar, vanilla and oak.
The finish is medium to long, warming, rich in vanilla, old leather and the signature Wild Turkey charred oak note.
It drinks warm as you might expect from something bottled at 116 proof, yet it does not overwhelm as it is sweet and satisfying.
In fact, it drinks quite nicely as it has a creamy texture and rich sweetness well balanced against oaky and spicy notes.
This Rare Breed Bourbon is one of the best in its class and it tastes better than bottles priced twice as much making it a champ in terms of value for the money.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey Rare Breed:
- Rare Breed is barrel-proof, meaning it’s uncut, bottled directly from the barrels at the proof it reached in those barrels.
- Rare Breed is a blend of whiskeys aged between 6 and 8 years and 12 years.
- This whisky was not chill-filtered, this is a common practice among the industry as it prevents the liquid from becoming hazy, but some purists assure that the filtering also removes precious tasting notes from the dram.
- The mash bill is made from 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
- Gold at the New York International Spirits Competition 2020.
- Wild Turkey belongs to the Campari Group based in Milan, Italy.
Elijah Craig vs Rare Breed: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
|Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon||$34|
|Wild Turkey Rare Breed||$52|
Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Rare Breed: Which is better?
Rare Breed is a much better pour than the Small Batch
|Whiskey||Small Batch||Rare Breed|
- The Rare Breed is much higher proof and still makes a better sip than the Small Batch that has some rough edges.
- The Rare Breed is warm as you might expect from something bottled at such proof, but supremely drinkable making a satisfying dram.
- Just add a few drops of water, tune-down the heat and enjoy a great dram.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!