Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

Layers of flavors

0 792

@BenancioReview by @Benancio

13th Jun 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon 69.9 ABV Batch 8

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a limited release Small Batch bourbon. They hand select a limited amount of barrels that match in flavor profile. This is a twelve year old Bourbon and is bottled without chill filtering. At full Barrel Proof the Bourbon tastes the same as when the Master Distiller does his samples straight from the barrel.

The Rev. Elijah Craig was claimed to have been the inventor of Bourbon whiskey by being the first to age the whiskey in charred oak casks. Elijah Craig Bourbon is produced by Heaven Hill.

Heaven Hill doesn’t rotate their barrels. Barrels are aged in various areas of the warehouse, are then labeled with different labels on them. These labels are specific to location and flavors profiles. Evan Williams and Elijah Craig have the exact same mash bill (78% corn, 12% rye, 10% barley). The only differences between the two expressions are their proofs and where their barrels were aged. The taste of these two whiskies are very different.

This review is of Batch 8. I haven’t had the opportunity to sample any of the other batches, so I’m unable to give a comparison. @Victor, @Nock and a few others have done fantastic job describing how the other batches have performed, highly recommend you read them, I did.

Aroma: Cherry, Caramel, Oak, Little Orange Rind, Powerful

Aroma w/Water: Cherry, Caramel, Oak, Marmalade, Plum, Still Powerful

Taste: Caramel, Sour Cherry, Butter, Pepper and Hot as Hell!

Taste w/Water: Sweet Cherry, Caramel, Vanilla, Custard, Butterscotch, Black Tea and Leather, Black Walnut, Bitter Chocolate

Finish: Layers of flavors on the finish evolve nicely over 10 minutes. I don’t think the finish every faded completely away neat or with water.

Conclusion: I highly recommend that you add water to reduce the proof and open up the flavors. I hardly ever add water to whiskey but in this case it is a Must. When I first tried this neat I was concerned as it is a little one dimensional, like a punch in the nose. After adding water I was amazed at how much this bourbon opened up. Layers and Layers of flavors. This is the strongest whiskey I have ever had, with that much alcohol it can take your breath away. Neat it’s above average (84/100) but with water its outstanding al solid (92/100). I expect that after 6 months the bottle should open and improve, the score might hit 93 or 94. I reserve 95 and above for the future. I enjoyed this so much that I went back and bought the other two bottle, glad they were still there.

Related Elijah Craig reviews


Taco commented

This batch is good, but has a bit more acetone than I like, similar to OF Birthday I had a few years ago (2012?). I've had batches 4, 5, 6 and now 8. My favorite is the 6, which is wonderful stuff. I loaded up on it, so I still have almost 3 left. Probably won't do that with this batch unless air time lessens the acetone. Worth buying though at $42.

7 years ago 0

Benancio commented

@Taco I didn't detect acetone, usually only notice that in younger whiskey, I wouldn't expect it in a 12 year old bourbon. Let me know what some air time does for your bottle.

I've heard batch 6 is very good, like to get my hands on a sample.

7 years ago 0

Benancio commented

@Taco My tasting note were from last night, now that you mention I do detect that it’s a tiny bit astringent served neat.

7 years ago 0

Victor commented

Very interesting review. Thanks, @Benancio.

I hadn't heard or read before that Heaven Hill makes a policy of not rotating their aging barrels. Interesting.

I like cherry flavour in whisk(e)y, but don't encounter it too often. I wonder whether I'll have the same cherry experience with the ECBP Batch # 8 as you did. I don't own a bottle of this batch. Hopefully @Nock will pick up a bottle of this one and I can try it...or I'll get back to Albuquerque before you finish off your three bottles.

7 years ago 0

Benancio commented

@Victor ECBP Batch #8 is one of the better bourbons I have every tasted, its up there in my top 4. You are so correct when you said "Don't be surprised, if that 69.9% abv bourbon is so drinkable that you start going through it more quickly than you would expect.". It has improved every time I've opened it, down 1/3 of the bottle already.

It is surprising how drinkable and delicious it is for such a high ABV. Confirmation, A good friend (non whiskey drinker) of mine was here last night for dinner, now he has sampled a few whiskeys of mine from time to time. He liked ECBP #8 so much he had a second dram and asked to take a pic of the bottle, he's going to buy himself a bottle. I found 3 more in town, I think I'll get the other 2.

I'm with you, love to find those cherry flavors in whiskey. I'll save some for you, make that trip to Albuquerque!

7 years ago 0

Nock commented

Thank you for the review. I love getting the chance to try these various batches of ECBP. Over all, I have found them to be consistently great bourbons (with the exception of Batch #4). So, I am not surprised this is another 90+ point bourbon.

I was just able to secure one bottle (only one sadly) of Batch #8. I am shocked at how easy it is for you to pick them up off the shelf in Albuquerque. I had to have a special "connection" just to get one bottle.

I'm not sure when I will get around to opening it as I already have Batch #5 and #7 open (with Batch #6 calling my name to get it opened . . .) However, when I do open it @Victor will certainly get a sample.

7 years ago 0

Taco commented

It shows how much tastes vary as I like the batch 4 and still have a stashed bottle. My ratings would be 6>4>8>5, so the 5 was my least favorite. However, they are all worth buying, just like all Lagavulin 12's are all good, even though I like some years more than others.

7 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in