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Elijah Craig 12 Year Old

Confectionary and Soap

0 485

@OJKReview by @OJK

31st Mar 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: A curious malted aubergine introduction, followed by cigars and tobacco flavoured bubblegum. Asparagus topped with talcum powder, alongside honey-roast peanuts covered in whipped cream, keeps things no less interesting. A more recognisable fruit dimension then appears, or more specifically succulent tangerines, warm peach crumble, and freshly chopped bananas and strawberries. Turkish delight then sits on a cereal bedding of flapjacks, before warm honey and lemon finally entice us to delve in.

Taste: A full and oily 47% delivery of cigar ashes and stewed peaches. Floating around the palate there is a delicate coating of strawberry jam and shortbread biscuit, or what in england you would call a 'jammy dodger' (a fine biscuit that combines both), before another recognisable confectionary in the shape of lemon Starburst then adds to the carnival of sweetness. Mint humbugs offer a brief and light tingle of complexity, however the italian christmas nougat (Torrone), honey-glazed carrots and maple syrup quickly smother it out and maintain the carnival at Rio-esque proportions.

Finish: The whiskey on the palate is escorted out by candy canes and fruit syrup, before mint and tobacco offer us some brief respite from the orgy of glucose. A rather hurried exit then ensues, leaving a bitter aftermath to the now departed carnival, with only dry orange peel to chew on and some coarse soap to wash away the sticky sugar residue from the palate.

Balance: A slightly uncultured and perhaps even sickly bourbon, yet like all sweets still has you somehow wanting to come back for more. Had the finish maintained the glucose fervour of the nose and palate then we could at least say that this was a consistent onslaught of sweetness that one could respect, and very much allow a time and a place for. I'd say that this is probably still the case, however the brief and soapy finish leaves a bitter aftertaste to what was otherwise a sickly yet paradoxically enjoyable visit to the confectionary shops of our youth.

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Victor commented

@OJK, YES, that kiss of death, the SOAPY FINISH! I was horribly disappointed with my bottle of Elijah Craig 12 yo because I hate that soapy taste. Then, a full TWO YEARS after the bottle was opened the soapy finish was completely gone. So there is hope for your bottle, sort of like there is hope for paying off the mortgage on your house,though. For a discussion of changes in whiskies after the bottles are open, see my review "Old Saz 2010 at 5 Months", which cites this same whiskey among others. Two years later my EC12 tastes like something I had never yet tasted-- and much better. I don't think that you will get any of that soap with the Elijah Craig 18 yo, though. I love mine.

12 years ago 0

Victor commented

Oh,and for the first 2 years I would have given my EC12 a rating of something like 60/100. Now, maybe 88.

12 years ago 0

OJK commented

Hi @Victor, I agree the soap is somewhat a kiss of death, however it remains nonetheless a pleasant bourbon when the mood so fits. I've had my bottle for about a year now and have found it more or less unchanged, which I suppose further complicates the discussion of changes to open bottles, as no doubt each particular bottle in each particular environment will evolve differently. I do also agree with your comments on the Elijah Craig 18, which is a go-to aged bourbon for me, and very much a favourite. I look forward to writing a review of it soon, would be great to compare notes!

12 years ago 0

Victor commented

@OJK, it did indeed take TWO FULL YEARS for the soap to leave my bottle of Elijah Craig 12 yo, so at that rate you would still have a year to go to get the effect. I expect that before too long I also will write a review of Elijah Craig 18 yo.

12 years ago 0

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