Tinyy batch whisky pienaar & son

What is the "tiny batch whisky" trend?

South African Whiskey

Feb 27, 2024

We first came across the "tiny batch whisky" in Pienaar and Son's instagram advertising of Tiny Batch Medium Char and Heavy Char whiskies. 

This prompted us to explore the meaning behind the term and how it compares to "small batch whiskey", which is the term more commonly used in the context of limited, smaller scale whiskey production.

Tinyy batch whisky pienaar & son

What is the "tiny batch whisky" trend?

South African Whiskey

Feb 27, 2024

We first came across the "tiny batch whisky" in Pienaar and Son's instagram advertising of Tiny Batch Medium Char and Heavy Char whiskies. 

This prompted us to explore the meaning behind the term and how it compares to "small batch whiskey", which is the term more commonly used in the context of limited, smaller scale whiskey production.

Tinyy batch whisky pienaar & son

What is the "tiny batch whisky" trend?

South African Whiskey

Feb 27, 2024

We first came across the "tiny batch whisky" in Pienaar and Son's instagram advertising of Tiny Batch Medium Char and Heavy Char whiskies. 

This prompted us to explore the meaning behind the term and how it compares to "small batch whiskey", which is the term more commonly used in the context of limited, smaller scale whiskey production.

What is tiny batch whisky?

Tiny batch whisky is characterised by an even smaller scale of production than small batch whiskey with even less bottles available per release. Tiny batch releases may be a highlight of smaller distilleries or a special or rare offering within a larger distiller's portfolio.

  • tiny batch whisky pienaar and son
  • tiny batch whisky pienaar and son ad instagram
  • instagram story ad for tiny batch whisky by pienaar and son

How many barrels are used in tiny batch whisky production?

Tiny batch whisky production typically involves 1 to 10 barrels, enabling distillers to closely oversee the production process. This level of control ensures that each batch distinctly reflects the distiller's skill, with every barrel adding its unique flavour to the final blend.

How many bottles are produced in tiny batch whisky?

Tiny batch whisky production leads to a very limited number of bottles, anywhere from 500 bottles to 1500 bottles generally speaking. For reference, 2 barrels is likely to provide about 500, 750ml bottles. That being said, it's also quite common to find limited release whiskies released in bottles with a volume of less than 750ml (such as 500ml whiskey bottles). 

The scarcity, exclusivity and unique profile offered by a tiny batch whiskey appeals to collectors and enthusiasts in search of new whiskey experiences. 

What is small batch whiskey?

Small batch whiskey involves blending whiskey (or whisky or bourbon) from a selected number of barrels.  This approach aims to combine barrels with distinct profiles to create a whiskey of distinctive taste and complexity. 

Small batch whisky will usually appeal to seasoned or budding enthusiasts, but they may also appeal to casual drinkers that are intent on exploring the personal whiskey preferences, usually after trying a more mass market whiskey in the past. 

whisky barrels at distillery
whisky barrels at distillery
whisky barrels at distillery

How many barrels are used in small batch whiskey production?

The term "small batch" varies in meaning, with the number of barrels used ranging from 10 to 100, based on the distillery's preference. The goal is to balance flavours, creating a product that showcases craftsmanship and a tailored approach rather than focusing on a fixed barrel count.

How many bottles are produced in small batch whiskey?

The number of bottles from a small batch varies, with a single barrel producing about 150 to 250 standard 750ml bottles. Using 20 barrels, for example, could yield 3,000 to 5,000 bottles, emphasising the goal of small batch whiskey which is typically to offer a unique or more meticulously crafted product.

In contrast, mass-market whiskies, such as those from large-scale distilleries like Jack Daniel's, are produced in batches of several thousand barrels. A batch might involve up to 2,000 barrels, resulting in up to 500,000 bottles. This approach prioritises volume and accessibility, distinguishing it from the limited production and artisanal focus of small batch whiskey.

What is the difference between tiny batch whiskey and limited or rare small batch whisky?

Tiny batch whiskey is produced in extremely small quantities, typically from 1 to 10 barrels, yielding about 250 to 1,250 bottles. This method emphasises unique flavour profiles and exclusivity.

Limited or rare small batch whisky, while still small-scale, may by produced in quantities similar to tiny batch whisky or slightly larger batches that use 10 to 50 barrels and resulting in 1,500 to 12,500 bottles. These are often special editions with unique characteristics, making them sought-after but less exclusive than tiny batch releases.

Could small batch whiskies be considered tiny batch whiskies?

Not necessarily. Small batch whiskies refer to a broader category of production that can range significantly in scale. Tiny batch whiskies represent the smallest scale within this category, focusing on extreme exclusivity and often a processes unique to the brand or distillery.

While some small batch whiskies might produce quantities similar to tiny batch releases, the key distinction lies in the scale and the marketing intent, with tiny batch emphasising a higher degree of rarity and uniqueness.

What is the best small batch South African whisky? 

Identifying the best small batch South African whisky is highly subjective, as preferences vary widely among whisky enthusiasts. Factors such as flavour profile, rarity, production methods, and ageing processes all play significant roles in determining an individual's favourite. 

However, South Africa has been producing some exceptional small batch whiskies that have caught the attention of connoisseurs worldwide. 

Here are our picks of small batch South African whisky to try at the moment, each with its unique characteristics and appeal:

Tiny Batch Virgin American Oak (Medium & Heavy Char)
Tiny Batch Virgin American Oak (Medium & Heavy Char)

Tiny Batch Virgin American Oak (Medium & Heavy Char)

Tiny Batch Whisky by Pienaar & Son out with its annual release of just 500 bottles per batch. With five releases to date, this whisky showcases the rich and complex flavors imparted by American oak, with the medium and heavy char levels adding depth and a range of vanilla and caramel notes for a balanced and intriguing taste experience.

Boplaas Single Malt Whisky- 6YO Single Cask (Vintage Port Cask) Second Edition
Boplaas Single Malt Whisky- 6YO Single Cask (Vintage Port Cask) Second Edition

Boplaas Single Malt Whisky- 6YO Single Cask (Vintage Port Cask) Second Edition

Boplaas Single Malt Whisky 6YO Single Cask (Vintage Port Cask) Second Edition is limited to 500 bottles, aged in vintage port casks. This aging process imparts a distinctive sweetness and depth, enriching the whisky with rich fruit notes and a smooth finish, making it a unique addition to any collection.

Boplaas Single Grain 8 YO Whisky (Tawny Cask finish)
Boplaas Single Grain 8 YO Whisky (Tawny Cask finish)

Boplaas Single Grain 8 YO Whisky (Tawny Cask finish)

Boplaas Single Grain 8 YO Whisky (Tawny Cask finish) is another standout, with a production run of just 300 bottles. Finished in tawny casks, this whisky blends sweetness and spice, featuring hints of dried fruit and a warm, lingering finish that showcases the impact of the tawny cask.

Three Ships 21YO Millennium 
Three Ships 21YO Millennium 

Three Ships 21YO Millennium 

Three Ships 21YO Millennium is a limited edition whiskey with only 1,202 bottles available. Celebrating a significant milestone in South African whisky production, this 21-year-old blend offers a complex and mature flavour profile. Layers of fruit, spice, and oak come together for a well-rounded and sophisticated drinking experience.

Three Ships Whisky 11 Year-old Single Malt Shiraz Cask Finish
Three Ships Whisky 11 Year-old Single Malt Shiraz Cask Finish

Three Ships Whisky 11 Year-old Single Malt Shiraz Cask Finish

Three Ships 11 Year-old Single Malt Shiraz Cask Finish with a total of 2,994 bottles produced and undergoes a unique finishing process in Shiraz casks. This introduces a vibrant fruitiness to the whisky, complemented by notes of dark berries and a hint of pepper, creating a dynamic and flavourful experience.

Final thoughts on tiny batch whisky

Tiny batch whisky is a unique category, valued for its limited production and distinctive flavors. Made in batches of 1 to 10 barrels, these whiskies appeal to enthusiasts seeking rarity and craftsmanship. Each release highlights the distiller's skill, offering a premium experience. Their scarcity makes them sought-after by collectors, reflecting a growing interest in craft spirits. Tiny batch whisky stands out for those exploring artisanal whisky, combining exclusivity with quality.

If you're interested in learning more about small batch whiskey and South African whiskey, we would love for you to become a part of our community and receive our exclusive whiskey resources.

Or you can explore our related whiskey content including our small batch bourbon guide or where you can find the best whiskey tastings in Cape Town

If you are interested in learning more about different types of whiskey, you might be interested in diving into our comparisons of single malt and blended whisky, Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey vs Scottish whiskey, and more.

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Frequently asked questions about tiny batch whisky

What is the difference between small batch whiskey and small batch bourbon?

The primary difference between small batch whiskey and small batch bourbon lies in the specific criteria that define bourbon and the production process involved. Small batch whiskey refers to whiskey blended from a select number of barrels, aiming for a distinctive flavor profile. This category can include various types of whiskey from around the world, each adhering to its own regional production standards and ingredients.

Small batch bourbon, a subset of American whiskey, must meet strict regulations to be classified as bourbon. It must be made in the United States, contain at least 51% corn in the mash bill, and be aged in new, charred oak barrels, among other requirements. While "small batch" does not have a legal definition, small batch bourbons are typically produced by blending a selected number of barrels to achieve a particular flavor complexity and consistency.

For a more in-depth exploration of small batch bourbon, including its unique characteristics and how it compares to other whiskeys, visit our Small Batch Bourbon Guide.

Which whiskies are made in Cape Town?

Cape Town and its surrounding areas are home to a number of distilleries producing a variety of whiskies, showcasing the region's growing reputation in the craft spirits industry. Some of the notable distilleries in and around Cape Town include:

  • James Sedgwick Distillery: Located in Wellington, just outside Cape Town, this distillery is renowned for producing Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky and the Three Ships range of whiskies. It's South Africa's only commercial whisky distillery and has received international acclaim for its innovative and quality spirits.

  • The Pienaar & Son Distilling Company: Situated in the heart of Cape Town, this small, independent distillery is known for crafting unique whisky expressions alongside other spirits, focusing on quality and innovation in their small batch productions.

  • New Harbour Distillery: Based in Cape Town, New Harbour Distillery is an artisanal distillery that produces spirits at the intersection of science art and nature, including their Bushveld Whisky.

These distilleries represent just a sample of the whisky-making scene found in Cape Town

futuristic whiskey distillery with potstills and blenders

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Join the craft cask whiskey community!

Become a member of our whiskey community for free to get access to an exclusive range of curated content - from reviews of top drams, to unique whiskey tasting experiences, and insights into the latest industry trends—our mailing list content is a valuable source for whiskey enthusiasts looking to stay in tune with the world of whiskey. 

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Copyright © 2024 Craft Cask

Join the craft cask whiskey community!

Become a member of our whiskey community for free to get access to an exclusive range of curated content - from reviews of top drams, to unique whiskey tasting experiences, and insights into the latest industry trends—our mailing list content is a valuable source for whiskey enthusiasts looking to stay in tune with the world of whiskey. 

Don't miss out, join our community today.

Copyright © 2024 Craft Cask

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