The 12-year-old cask-strength powerhouse known as Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is hard to beat. It usually delivers an utterly delicious concentration of classic bourbon aromas and flavors that is almost impossible to pass up at $60 a bottle. The third and last release of 2017, batch C917, is bottled at a respectable 131 proof.
Batch B517 was an outstanding release in what is generally considered a very consistently solid line.
As I previously mentioned, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is the only EC release to carry a 12-year age statement. A couple of years ago, Small Batch’s 12-year age statement was controversially removed. I’m not an age statement diehard, so the disappearance of that age statement didn’t bug me one bit. I’m going off on a tangent. Focus, Bobby. Focus.
Back to the whiskey at hand.
The nose on Batch C917 features hints of sweet oak, molasses, grilled corn cakes and some spice. On the palate, big, bold waves of caramels and spice cake almost overwhelm the senses. Hints of cardamom, vanilla, and dark chocolate pop through mid-palate. A nice, strong dose of oak, an expected note in the Elijah Craig brand, and leather hit the palate late. The finish is long and warm, with a bittersweet note reminiscent of caramel-coated dark chocolate lingers.
Heaven Hill has another lively and fantastic bourbon release with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C917. It does what a great barrel proof whiskey should do – transport you to a Kentucky rickhouse with every sip. I slightly prefer the previous batch B517 over this one. The differences are minute. Bad batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof simply don’t exist. Recommended! 8.5/10
Thanks to Heaven Hill for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.