American Whiskey Review #54: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A119
Distillery: Elijah Craig
Age: 12 Year
Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.
Nose: The distinct smell of a fresh coat of wood varnish oozes out from the start. There’s a bit of citrus cleaner as well before turning to the more familiar scent of a bourbon in the form of vanilla, corn mash, nutmeg, caramel, and a few others pieces.
Palate: It is far, far sweeter than expected. It’s rich and incredibly sweet, almost as sweet as an apéritif like Gran Marnier. There’s a bit of maraschino cherry juice as well as a lot of sugar. With some water, the sweetness intensifies with a lot of vanilla coming out. I haven’t had one, but I imagine this is what a vanilla liqueur should taste like.
Finish: The finish is where this starts to show its incredibly high ABV. It’s a bit hot and very short. There’s only oak and vanilla here in the brief seconds it lingers on the tongue. Fortunately, a splash of water gets rid of all the heat, but the finish remains short.
Conclusion: This Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (say that five times fast) is the first of three batches I’ll be reviewing this week. A co-worker of mine mentioned how much he had enjoyed a pour of this while visiting the distillery in Kentucky a few years ago and I can see why he liked it. Despite being bottled at an incredibly high ABV, 67.6% is probably the highest I’ve had up til now, it doesn’t drink like you might expect something that strong to. It’s rich, sweet, and very drinkable (though the heat does show in the finish a bit). It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting as it does come off as more of a dessert drink than a high-proof bourbon. Very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the next two!
Final Score: 81.
American Whiskey Review #54, Bourbon Review #41, Whisky Network Review #294
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.