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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof

ECBP Batch # 5 67.4% ABV

0 1093

@VictorReview by @Victor

24th Aug 2015

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed sample is courtesy of @Nock, from a half full bottle. Heaven Hill does not number the batches; we do

Nose: intense sharply-edged very sweet moderately-high-pitched vanilla-cinnamon-oak, like a delicious candy. Great

Water added bundles the flavours and raises the pitch even higher. This nose is lovely with water added also

Score: 23.5/25 points

Taste: lovely translation to the mouth, with its richness more broadly dispersed. The flavours exhibit a great balance of high, medium, and low pitches, and also a perfect balance of sweet and dry

Water smoothes the flavours slightly, but otherwise has little effect

Score: 23.5/25 points

Finish: long finish, as is typical of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof; stays rich with all of the flavours remaining strong for a slow gradual fade

Water smoothes some of the flavours on the finish, but accentuates the tannins

Score: 22.5/25 points

Balance: what's not to like? This is another excellent Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, albeit perhaps the sweetest one I've tasted. That is a good thing, because ECBP can run very dry and tannic. This Batch # 5 reminds me a good deal of the Batch # 1 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, at 67.1% ABV, except that Batch # 5 perhaps diffuses its sweetness more readily than does Batch # 1.

Intensity lovers: buy yourself a bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12 YO if you are able. ECBP is THE easiest drinking high ABV whiskey I've ever tasted. Watch out! The bottle will be half empty before you know it!

Score: 23.5/25 points. Total Score: 93/100 points

Strength: excellent strong flavours all around. Score 24/25 points

Quality: all of the flavours are of very good quality. Score: 23/25 points

Variety: there is plenty of variety to keep the taster amused. Score: 23/25 points

Harmony: excellent harmony/balance of the flavours overall. Score 24/25 points

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10 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Great Review...I hope the batch that is 69.9% is as good as you describe this one! I'm going to ask my friend to grab another in Seattle.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, I'd be very surprised if you don't enjoy it. If you do, sell it to me! I had the opportunity to buy from that Batch # 8 69.9% ABV, but didn't, because I have a lot of ECBP from several batches already. If I had it to do again, I would have bought some from that batch too.

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Well, with only one bottle, I don't think selling is an option, but it will definitely be on my list of things to share next time we meet.

6 years ago 0

Taco commented

It's interesting that of the four batches I've bought and tried (4,5,6 & 8), this is my least favorite. Not to say it's not good, as it is, but not my favorite. Batch 6 is my favorite, which you rated lower. Strange how much tastes vary. Nozinan- the Batch 8 (69.9%) is quite good. I had a nightcap of it tonight.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Taco, having tasted ECBP Batches # 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, they have all, except batch # 4 fallen within about 3 or so points of each other in my ratings. This Batch # 5 impressed me more when I sat down to evaluate this sample of it than it did when I had tasted it previously along with a number of other whiskeys.

For me, my favourite to drink is not necessarily the one which gets the highest 'critic's number' from me. I personally like to drink for pleasure Batch # 6 more than some of the batches to which I have given a 1, 2, or 3 points higher score. How can this be? Because the number reviewing criteria I am using are not precisely weighted the same way as are my enjoyment preferences. For example, for my own pleasure, the intensity of the flavours assumes a very heavy weighting, more so than it does in the typical sequential Nose-Taste-Finish-Balance scoring. Even my own non-sequential system gives equal weight to Strengh of Flavours, as it does to Quality of Flavours, Variety of Flavours, and Harmony of Flavours. If I were to grade according to my 'favourites' for my own pleasure drinking, I would probably need to raise the weighting of Strength of flavours from 25/100 points to 40 or more points out of 100. Why have I not adopted such a scale for my reviews? Mainly because I think that the way I am currently weighting the scores makes them easier for others to understand and to relate to. So yes, I am a huge fan of Batch # 6, even though I scored it 1 to 3 points lower than I did several others. Despite my liking it, I have to admit that it is not as lush, complex, or balanced (especially without water) as some of the other batches.

6 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Taco, interesting, strange, perplexing - tastes certainly do vary. I am also in agreement with @Victor when it comes to an appreciation of certain whiskies. Taste is what I enjoy most in a whiskey.

I find that my favourites often score below some examples of fine whisky. This does not sit well with me, so instead of shrugging it off, I have adjusted my scores to reward those whiskies which please me the most. My cabinet clearly reflects this.

6 years ago 0

Taco commented

I wasn't critiquing anyone's rating method, but rather pointing out my own skewed tastes, at least with bourbons. About 90% of the time I drink scotch, and fairly closely agree with others on their ratings (esp. Ralfy and Serge). Overall, I find almost all single malts drinkable to excellent, but there are very few bourbons I enjoy. The exceptions in bourbon that I actually enjoy seem to come from Wild Thrkey, Heaven Hill, and sometimes Buffalo Trace. Can't stand products from JD and Beam, and find the others mediocre, including Four Roses. This kinda puts me in a weird zone as it seems most people really like 4R. I didn't even like the 4R Small Batch LE 2012, which was so highly rated, so my bourbon ratings should probably taken with a grain of salt. That said, I do agree with you guys that any batch of ECBP is worth the price.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Taco, it took me several years to get to liking Four Roses. Individual tastes do sometimes change. Mine have definitely widened with exposure. Some products do continue to remain in the "I don't need to drink any of that, even for free" category.

6 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Taco, that leaves more bourbon for me. Actually, I like 'em all. I find that moods or weather conditions influence my whisky related choices. Macallan Cask Strength is at the top of my list when it comes to what is available from my cabinet. I am more partial to N. American whiskies, yet there are so many delicious whiskies from different countries of origin. Last month I was caught in a Canadian whisky loop with many being around 40% abv. This month I've been sipping on Cask Strength from the U.K., India, and the U.S. It is good for us to have these discussions so that we can better understand each others preferences. I find myself agreeing with JM more and more these days.

6 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

@Victor, great review. I also really liked this batch #5 more than batch #7. Not that batch #7 was bad . . . but when I sit down with all of them it jumps out as being not as enjoyable to me as the other batches. That is how I found batch #4. It was just my opinion and taste.

I am sitting on a lone bottle of batch #8 . . . but I have been in more of a peat mood of late, and I simply have not gotten around to cracking it open. I might just wait for batch #9 which should be out soon.

6 years ago 0

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