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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

3rd Release

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@NockReview by @Nock

15th May 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

One night in April I sat down with the first 4 batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof to see how they stood up to one another.

This is the third release. It is a 2oz sample graciously provided by @Victor during my visit on March 10. I believe the bottle was opened on November 19 of 2013.

Nose: Sweet brown sugar and maple syrup similar to the 1st release. However, there is more maple, less brown sugar, and less intense over all. Now I am getting a similar sour tone to the 2nd release, only not as strong. This is sitting right between the 1st and 2nd release, but with less intensity and power. This is closer to the 1st then 2nd release if I had to make a call. It is far easier on the nose then the 2nd (if you like that kind of thing).

With water: darker and thicker then the 1st release. It takes water well. The nose actually goes up a bit with water in my book (rare that)

Taste: Thicker then the 1st and 4th release (far better mouth feel). Viscous, sweet brown sugar coating baked apples.

With water: Still decent . . . but not as great.

Finish: Huge wave of sweet brown sugar coated baked apple pie: nutmeg, cinnamon, and other delightful spices. Tons of spices . . . might be the most spice and sharpest bite on any of the batch finishes. This is a nice apple orchard in the fall.

With water: Not as much spice (obviously), but still the spiciest of the night - lovely

Balance, Complexity: Far more balanced then the 4th release and better integrated. I think the balance across the board (nose to finish) is probably the best of the 4 batches. The 1st and 2nd releases each have their own different points of drop off. This guy, while not as impressive in any one category, really delivers a steady delight flavors.

Aesthetic experience: This is a nice bottle . . . but it is a little hard to hold. I like the spout to pour. And I love the barrel proof nature of this beast. I just wish the age were more prominently displayed. A 12 year old Bourbon should say it on the front label!

Conclusion: I am very sad that I missed out on a bottle of this batch. It is probably my second favorite after the 1st release simply because of the complexity and spice . . . and it is an easy drinker.

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Benancio commented

@Nock I read all your reviews on ECBP, great reviews. I found a bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof at 69.9 ABV. Holy cow that is 140 proof. Its gone up since 2013 , it's $55. I think I'll get it. Expect big burn, tons of carmel and oak. Any thoughts on the recent bottlings? Have you tasted the 69.9 ABV expression? Benancio.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Benancio, that ECBP you bought is Batch # 8. I passed on that one 10 days ago, only because I have lots and lots of bottles of other batches of ECBP already.

But you are lucky in one respect. 69.9% abv is VERY different from 140 proof in that it is legal for you to bring 69.9% abv into packed airline luggage. You can't legally do that with the Batch # 6, at 70.1% abv. 70% ABV/140 proof is a nice impressive number, but being airline carrier eligible is one advantage of being UNDER 70%, even by 1/10th of 1%.

Chances are I'll eventually get a taste of your batch # 8. I imagine my pal @Nock will come up with some.

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

I think those of us in Canada would be happy to have access to ANY of those batches...

4 years ago 0

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