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Friday night I had the opportunity to sample a bottle of Elijah Craig 18. Have not seen one of these before. Barreled 11-25-90. Barrel 3491. Bottle was at about a quarter full. Pour was priced at 9.50, which I felt was a steal.
Nose was heavy and masterful. An awful lot going on: Salted nuts, cooked butter, french toast, burning sugars, carmel. Yellow cake, even cornbread.
Taste was almost sherry like. Raisins. Vanilla, yes, but very little oak or wood. Not much spice at all. There is an almost Speyside level of sweetness going on here. Something meaty too - brisket and sweet and sour sauce. Honeysuckle...Can I say rotting, rancid honeysuckle? That sounds bad, but I want to stress "overly ripe." Fabulous.
Mouthfeel was wonderful. Not drying in the least. No wood tannins. No bitterness. Very, very rich.
Finish is long. Final notes were "sweet honeycomb."
This was a great experience. The bartender did not know how long the bottle had been open, but I suspect a while. That may have had something to do with the smoothness of this particular bottle? All I know is if I should see a bottle in the wild, it will be mine. Highly recommended.