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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

Goon you love to fight against

0 892

@RantavahtiReview by @Rantavahti

9th Apr 2015

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is their 12YO expression bottled cask strength. And coming with ABV level of 67,4%, this is as strong as it can get! By the way, this is probably the darkest whisky, I've encountered so far...

Very tough bourbon, but good. Chew this and it's like getting into a fight and liking it. Kinda like fighting a close friend and going out for drinks afterwards.

So this time, my movie reference is also a hockey reference: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is like a Goon. And in this case, a close friend who's a goon. While it's being rough, you're still liking and appreciating what it's doing.

Nose: Peppery hot at first. After water added, there's mahogany, maple, corn and waxy honey with hints of floral notes.

Taste: Man this is thick! The oils are like velvet. Syrupy, sour and sweet with warming rye and spices like cinnamon and black pepper.

Finish: Very very strong: warming spices with oil, dark chocolate and oak. A bit bitter.

Balance: Burns pleasantly. Great bourbon in balance: mix of sour, sweet and spicy notes in a great way!

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8 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Rantavahti, thanks for this fun review. I'm looking forward to getting a taste of this 67.4% abv batch #5 of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof when I next see @Nock.

I was very excited, too, that batch # 6 of ECBP is at 70.1% abv...then I realised that that strength creates some constraints, since 70% abv whiskey is not allowed on airplanes for safety reasons.

Yes, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is incredibly dark in colour.

4 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

Thanks @Victor. Wow, 70% must be quite a stunner! That's like some of the old Old Buck's few years ago.

I've really started to like the cask strength versions after I learned to add right portions of water in 'em. It's been amazing to sample many good ones in a row. Like being on a winning streak with the likes of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Willett Rye, Säntis Edition Drefailtigket and Glenlivet 16 yo Nadurra. That Säntis by the way, is a stunning dram from Switzerland. Hopefully I'll get the review here soon...

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

God I love the high-test whiskies! It is nice that Elijah Craig is making some of them available at a moderate age-level. When 16 to 25 yo Willetts were more available, many of them would have ABVs in the 68-72% range. 2010, 2011, and 2012 George T. Stagg were all above 71% ABV, and I have some lovely Abraham Bowman 17 yo bourbon which is at 73.75% abv.

I am very curious as to the barrel entry ABV of the Old Buck. In the US there is a strict rule for bourbon and rye that barrel entry proof cannot exceed 62.5% abv. In Kentucky and Virginia (Kentucky was originally the Western part of Virginia), no doubt related to relatively dry humidity conditions, whiskeys gain alcohol content as they age, sometimes to a remarkable degree. My top favourite bottle is an Abraham Bowman US rye which is only 10 years old, but it is at a whopping 69.4% ABV in only 10 years. Usually in the US it takes a lot longer than that to get that kind of strength,...maybe 15 to 18 years. (Yes there are some high ABVs in the 12 yo Elijah Craig series also). SO, I am very curious as to the barrel entry ABV of the Old Buck single barrels, and to how the ABV changed with time to reach those 70+% levels.

4 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

Can't seem to locate a decently priced barrel proof... Any suggestions? UK first preference or EU.

4 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

Whiskysite.nl usually has good prices. Is this in your range? whiskysite.nl/nl/…

I'd say it's worth the price (70€)...well, shipping comes on top of course...

4 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

Excellent review! I agree with your assessment. I have this same batch (#5) and batch #7 (64%) both open at the moment. I am excited to meet up with @Victor and compare with his open bottle of batch #6 and that powerful 70.1% ABV. So far I have managed to obtain a bottle or sample of all the batches through #7. The only one that I really felt was not up to par was batch #4 at 66.2%

4 years ago 0

Taco commented

I've only had bottles of 4, 5 and 6. I'd rate the 6th release as easily the best of the three and the 5th the least (but still darn good!). The 6th is like the best candy I've ever had. I still have 3 bottles of the 6th and 1 of the 4th stashed away for continued enjoyment. And to think I only paid $29-$35 for any bottle (+ tax)!! I also was able to stash away several bottles of the older 108 proof Rare Breed at the same time for similar prices, so I'm set for great bourbon sipping for a long time. Also picked up several Weller 12's for $22. Not going to need to spend ridiculous prices for NAS Scotch. With the reported decline in Scotch sales, maybe we will see some decline in pricing, but I doubt it.

4 years ago 0

@Rantavahti
Rantavahti commented

Thanks @Nock! You and @Victor seem to have a great setup there.

@Taco I can only dream about that kind of US whiskey prices over here in Europe. In my opinion, the best part of "whisky hobby" is when you find a great bargain somewhere.

4 years ago 0

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