Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch C917)

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.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch A117) Bourbon Review

Image courtesy of Heaven Hill

Barrel strength whiskey is something I always look forward to tasting.  Even though many are batched together (versus a single barrel release), it’s like tasting straight from the barrel.  No dilution is taking place before bottling.  The robust quality from these bottlings is something you don’t get from a standard whiskey release.

One of my favorites is Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (ECBP) from Heaven Hill Distillery.  This 12-year-old batched bourbon is offered several times a year.  Starting with this first batch of 2017, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is introducing batch numbers (sort of like Booker’s has been doing the past couple of years).  It was a fantastic idea for Booker’s, and I’m sure ECBP will experience some success from it.

The batch code breaks down like this: The first letter signifies the release batch of the year, while the numbers indicate the month and year of release.  So, A117 = the first batch of the year, released in January 2017.  The new batch numbering system will make it easier to track down which batch is which.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batch A117 comes in at 127 proof.  While not the strongest batch I’ve seen by any stretch, 127 is still a high proof.  Let’s get to the tasting notes.

Dark brown sugar and molasses burst out of the glass, alongside touches of anise, vanilla and oak.  On the palate, this oily whiskey features hints of caramel corn, vanilla, tobacco leaf, and oak spices.  A splash of water brings out more oak.  The long finish warms the chest (perfect for winter), leaving behind lingering spiced caramel and slightly drying oak.

To this day, I haven’t run across a bad batch of ECBP.  I’m happy to report the streak continues.  Batch A117 might be a bit lower in proof than previous batches, but it’s just as complex and full of flavor as anything that’s come before it.  Nicely done.  8.5/10

Thanks to Heaven Hill for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey (132.4) Review

Elijah Craig BP

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (ECBP), one of Heaven Hill’s best kept secrets, is not so secret anymore.  Okay, so it was never much of a secret.  Whiskey enthusiasts and collectors seem to really enjoy ECBP.  Released in a couple of small batches every year, ECBP is a full-strength, non-chill filtered version of Elijah Craig 12 year old.  This batch, from 2014, is 132.4 proof.  Every batch’s proof is slightly different.  Like most limited edition bourbons these days, this monster of a whiskey disappears soon after it hits the shelves.