Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
12 years may be youngish for scotch, but it's OLD for bourbon! Bourbon over 8 years can start to take on some serious oak astringency. For me, I like older bourbons as long as they can deliver the sweetness to counterbalance the hotness of all the oak. Elijah Craig 12 delivers, but just barely.
Nose: Very nice. Oak, Maple syrup, red and orange colored fruits (sorry, specificity lovers). Very good, and something that's worth putting your nose in all evening - pretty rare for under $25.
Palate: A fair bit of astringent oak, but plenty of rich sweetness to balance it. It's a shade on the too-oaky side for me, but not enough for me to not enjoy it. Not the most complex palate, but pleasing all the same. Finish is sweetness and oak, with oak extending beyond when the fading of the sweetness. Elijah Craig has very little of the peppery-spiciness that I associate with high-rye content. It has just enough that you wouldn't really think it's a wheater, but definitely far from high-rye.
Overall, Elijah Craig is solid and enjoyable; something I have no problem pouring a couple times on a weekend. Easily worth its $23 price tag; in fact there are few bourbons under $30 that are better.