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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

Nozinan Mystery Sample Series - 4

3 582

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

14th Jan 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Last summer @fiddich1980 provided 3 mystery samples for me and for @paddockjudge. This was sample C. We blind tasted them together over Facetime in the fall, and after writing preliminary notes the identities were revealed.

Tonight I completed my review notes with the sample. I don’t remember if I gassed it. It was a newly opened bottle when the sample was made and the 2 oz bottle was just over half full when I poured it tonight.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes. No water was added tonight so I was able to pour the remainder back.


In the fall I got a typical bourbon nosewith cherry and brown sugar. Also grape sweet-tarts and cola bottle cap candies. Tonight there is a floral component. This is a very nice nose.

Taste: 18/25-21/25

In the fall I wrote that it burned on entry, and there was some sweetness and brown sugar. In the development it became quite bitter and astringent. Tonight it is still bitter but actually a lot less unpleasant. More peppery.


The finish was simply bitter before. It remains so but a little softer and more tannic.


All bitterness in the fall. Not too complex but powerful tonight.

Original tasting: 73/100 Jan. 13 review tasting: 82/100

This one was essentially undrinkable when I first tried it from the sample. It seemed to go well with @fiddich1980’s Crème Brûlée at his tasting, so airtime must be helping this one out. I’d be interested in knowing if it has developed further in his bottle since it seemed to do so in the sample bottle.

This is not the best ECBP I have tasted by any stretch, but given its changes over time it still has some potential. Thanks @fiddich1980!

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fiddich1980 commented

@Nozinan My bottle is sitting at about two-thirds full. I suspect that much like the bottling of Weller 12 before the bottle re-vamp it will improve with time and oxidization. The Weller 12 I had took over two years to reach it's peak. I've noticed that bourbons need awhile without gasing and air exposure to improve. The rich tobacco note and bitterness have calmed since it was first opened in the late spring of 2017. The flavours are becoming more "blended", as opposed to being sharp and definitive in the first few. I'll have to see how it evolves.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

I gave this one 74.5 in the blind tasting. It had a very good nose (23.5) and it went downhill from there. No complexity, poorly balanced, the finish was wet cardboard. I guessed this correctly as ECBP. One of three great blind picks by @fiddich1980.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

fiddich1980 commented

@paddockjudge "wet card", was also the Stagg Jr Batch 3, from the tasting. I remembered specifically hearing you saying that at my tasting "wet card board", no one else wanted to try. The best stated definition of the Stagg Jr Batch 3.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@fiddich1980, and this one too....as I'm reviewing my notes....no notes taken at the tasting session at your house, but I do remember making that comment about wet cardboard on the Stagg Jr. finish.

I thought at first taste during the blind that it might be Stagg Jr., but too many other EC traits to guess otherwise.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

Victor commented

Sorry to hear about a somewhat "off" batch of ECBP. I am not sure about whether or not I own any bottles from this batch. This will put me on alert. I think that I tasted some from this batch two nights ago at a friend's party and thought to myself, "Not so good. This doesn't taste like the quality that I am used to from Elijah Craig Barrel Proof."

about one year ago 0

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