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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

ECBP Batch # 7, 64.0 % ABV

0 1391

@VictorReview by @Victor

22nd Jul 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed sample is from the 7th release of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, and is compliments of @Nock. The bottle was opened 4 months ago and is half full

Nose: intense sweet oak and maple flavours are the first thing you experience. There is plenty of natural caramel and vanilla, as you would expect from any 12 year old bourbon. This batch has a beautiful floral note of rose tucked under all of those woody flavours, and also an interesting and pleasant sassafras/root beer note. Spice flavours from both rye and wood are present and noticeable, and combine with the other flavours in a seamless fabric. The balance here is excellent. This is an outstanding bourbon nose

Taste: this is a little bit more astringent in the mouth than I expected from the nose, with wood tannins showing more strongly than in the nose. The palate is still quite delicious, though, with the wood flavours commanding most of the attention

Finish: moves dry, tannic, and astringent

Balance: fabulous in the nose, very good on the palate, fair on the finish. I could nose this bourbon for an hour, because the nose is that good

Water added: 1) raises the sweetness pitch to that of confectioner's sugar, but otherwise blends and obscures the nose flavours, 2) dilutes, confounds, and homogenises the palate, and 3) sweetens and dilutes the finish. The nose with water is interesting, but otherwise I would recommend avoiding the addition of water to this whiskey

Heaven Hill does not give batch numbers; these batch numbers are all from an informal count by those of us who follow Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. This Batch # 7 is the lowest proof batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof yet released, though 64% ABV is certainly an adequate drinking strength. Batch # 7 is a very solid, representative batch of ECBP. It is not the most lush, nor the most intense, though it might well have the best nose

Strength: a mixed bag here. The nose is very strong and balanced. The palate is a little more restrained and delicate, especially by Elijah Craig Barrel Proof standards. The finish has intensity of flavour, but the sweet elements drop off too quickly. Score 23/25 pts

Quality: very good quality of flavours throughout. Score: 23/25 pts

Variety: fabulous variety in the nose, very good variety on the palate, and good variety on the finish. Score: 23/25 pts

Harmony: first rate in the nose, very good on the palate, only fair on the finish. Score: 22/25 pts

Total non-sequential score: 91/100 points

Comment: the reviews I write are "Critic's Reviews". This means I score/grade on specific criteria, and not on 'how much I enjoyed drinking the whisky'. I bring this up because there are whiskies which I have scored lower, but enjoyed drinking more, than, for example, this Batch # 7 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, 12 YO. I scored Old Grand-Dad 114 at 87, then, later, 88 points, and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch # 6 at 90 points. If you asked me which among these three I would prefer for a good time drink, both the OGD114 and the Batch # 6 would be my overwhelming preferences. This takes nothing away from ECBP Batch # 7, which is a great bourbon, with an outstanding nose. All I can say is, "No cabinet should be without Old Grand-Dad 114".

Related Elijah Craig reviews


Benancio commented

@Victor another stellar on point review, thx.

What Heaven Hill is doing with EC12BP is something special! Elijah Craig 12y Barrel Proof has moved to the top of my bourbon purchases this year, I've bought 4 bottles of Batch 8, 69.9 ABV. I know some batches Are better than others, if someone has the opportunity to buy one get it, regardless of batch.

I hardly ever add water to whiskey but this one has to have water added. This bourbon opens amazingly with water.

6 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

Nose it for an hour? Yes, I've done that with a few of my favourites. Good fortune has smiled upon me and I am able to drink from EC 12YO barrel Proof Batch #6, 140.2 pf and Old Grand Dad 114.

What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.

Strangely enough, the Old Grand Dad 114 doesn't smell anything like Basil Hayden.

6 years ago 0

Benancio commented

Tis but thy name that is my enemy!

6 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

Paddockjudge: Why, what did he smell like?

6 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, I have not yet opened the OGD114 nor the ECBP. I am fortunate to have sampled both without opening these new acquisitions. There are some great Connosr members who 'go the extra mile'. Thanks Hal and Gene.

6 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@Victor when you add water to your whisky for tasting purposes is there a formula you use to keep things consistent? Or do you, like me, add a few drops and see.

I'm increasingly feeling that I need to standardize my water addition in the interest of uniformity.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@MaltActivist, good to hear from you. When I add water to whisky, I try to add 2 large drops, and then reassess.

There are only a very few whiskies to which I ever add more than that at first...and only a very few whiskies to which I will add more than that ever. Batch # 6 of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, at 70.1% ABV, and a very austere profile without water, is one that I am happy to add 6-8 drops to which at the git-go for a 45 ml/1.5 oz pour.

6 years ago 0

Nock commented

Thanks for the review. I love reading your take (as always). You are much more generous with this batch then I have been in my tasting notes. I find it interesting that you scored batch #6 lower. My memory is that it was fantastic. I will open my bottle before long. Did you get a sample of batch #5? I hope so because I would love to read your take on that one also.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Nock, oh yes, I am looking at the sample of batch # 5 which you gave me, and I fully intend to review it. Pretty soon, I think.

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE fan of the Batch # 6, 70.1% ABV, as a drinking whiskey. I do grade slightly differently on 'critic's criteria' than 'how I liked the whiskey'. Not that 90 points is a bad number.

Batch # 7 does not quite have the degree of palatal intensity of some of the other batches, but I am extremely impressed by the nose.

6 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@Victor I was really impressed by it and it instantly made my list of whisky to buy. To think that other batches could be more intense is unbelievable. Even at its regular price, it is a steal of a deal.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Robert99, you tried the Batch # 3, 66.6% ABV. They are all quite good, with only Batch # 4, 64.2% ABV being significantly lesser than the others.

6 years ago 0

Pete1969 commented

Only ever seen this available on one European site and they will not ship to UK due to customs, so much for an open market. Fingers crossed that as bourbon sales rise more stores will stock as I will be at the front of the queue as long as they don't make it extortionately expensive. Don't care what batch I just want a bottle.

6 years ago 0

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