American Whiskey Review #56: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C919
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 12 Year
Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.
Nose: (according to the wife) This starts smelling of older wood furniture that has gotten a fresh coat of varnish. Wet fall leaves pop in afterwards for some more earthy notes. The earthy notes continue as black tea with honey along with a bit of vanilla and walnut.
Palate: Its very rich and flavorful. Up front are a few dried fruits in the form of dates, dried raspberries, and dried cherries. It moves on into something that tastes a lot like sujeonggwa/수정과, a cinnamon punch you may see served as dessert in Korean restaurants. There’s a lot of sweetened cinnamon along with a hint of pine nut and a hint of ginger. The sweetness from the fruit balances out the slight spice notes from ginger and cinnamon while the little bit of nuttiness elevates this a lot. It is a tad hot at full strength, considering how strong it is it’d be weirder if it wasn’t, but a small splash of water cools this down very quickly. With water, the sweet cinnamon flavor intensifies.
Finish: Medium in length. It’s kind of creamy with oak and walnut powder to add a bit of a drying, nutty effect. Again, a bit of heat linger but that goes away with a bit of water.
Conclusion: This Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is the third of three batches I’ll be reviewing this week. Each of the three batches have been incredibly different from each other. Batch A119 was a sweet, dessert bomb, Batch B519 was just bad, and this one might be one of the most complex bourbons I’ve had the pleasure to taste. The nose has a ton going on starting with wood furniture and varnish and eventually ending up with an earthy black tea. The palate is filled with lovely layers of dried fruit balanced with cinnamon and a bit of nut. The finish is the weakest point here without a whole lot going on. Despite clocking in at 68.4%, very easily the strongest whisky I’ve ever had, there is very little heat and what little is there quickly dissipates with a bit of water. Excellent job by the folks over at Heaven Hill, this is a fantastic batch.
Final Score: 86.
American Whiskey Review #56, Bourbon Review #43, Whisky Network Review #296
- 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.