I always look forward to tasting new batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. Five months into 2017 and we’re just starting to see the second batch, B517, hit shelves. This one comes in at 124.2 proof. Not as high as previous batches, but still hearty nonetheless. I find the quality of these releases to be pretty consistent. I wouldn’t expect this batch to be any different.
Waves of caramel, dark chocolate and dark fruits fill the nose. Wisps of sweet corn and cinnamon bark also show up after a few minutes in the glass. The entry is rich. I’d expect nothing else from this whiskey. Caramel and oak are prominent, complemented by hints of espresso, vanilla, allspice, black cherry and buttered corn. The finish is long with bittersweet oak and spice notes.
Bottom line, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B517 is pretty damn tasty. I did find oak played a slightly bigger part here, especially compared to this year’s first batch. That didn’t put me off from enjoying the whiskey, which I tasted at full proof. I didn’t need to add any water to this one. Sure, water will open it up a touch, but you’ll miss that concentrated blast of flavor that only a barrel proof whiskey can deliver. 8.5/10
Thanks to Heaven Hill for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.