Elijah Craig Small Batch (12 Year old) Bourbon
82 / 100 WhiskeyRating's Score
$32.99Price Paid
750mlVolume (ml)
Elijah Craig was the first “spicy” bourbon I ever tried and it opened a new appreciation for the diversity of bourbons available. I remember my wife’s first reaction of surprise and intrigue as this was outside our normal bourbons. Granted, we were new at the bourbon game and we were just starting our education, but it had a lasting effect and there’s been bottle of Elijah Craig in our bar ever since. This is another great product from Heaven Hill who also makes Evan Williams, Larceny, the strong Pikesville Rye, and several more. If you are in either Bardstown or Louisville Kentucky, be sure to visit their facilities. It looks like Heaven Hill is rebranding Elijah Craig a bit as I’ve noticed that newer bottles are just called “Small Batch” as opposed to the more traditional name which includes “12 Year Small Batch. I’ve tried both and don’t notice any differences, so I’m betting they are merely giving themselves room to change over time without need to worry about the age of the blended whiskeys. Remember, older doesn’t always mean better. If you haven’t tried Elijah Craig yet, start neat so you get the full flavor of this medium-amber delight. The nose is fairly mild and even a deep smell only brings a slight alcohol bite to this sweet smell. It’s full of honey, caramel, and some would say, clove. It’s complex in aromas yet very approachable. I just love it’s smell! Your first taste should wow you. It’s slightly thick yet brings the sharp alcohol feel. I remember thinking this -had- to be a 100 proof bourbon based on the alcohol feel. I can only imagine how much stronger the barrel strength version must be! You will probably notice the spicy flavor right away since it’s harsher than the nose. It almost tastes like a rye with it’s woody, grainy flavors yet corn is the predominant flavor. It’s strong flavors don’t last nearly as long the alcohol feel. What does stay with you is a bit dry, woody flavor that reminds you this came out of charred barrels. As much as I like Elijah Craig, I just don’t like it as a Manhattan. Perhaps it would work as an old fashioned or something else that would compliment the spiciness, but I think it doesn’t been well with sweet vermouth. Last Call... It’s not may go-to bourbon but Elijah Craig is a solid option for those who like a cost-conscious, spicy bourbon. I prefer it neat and adore the aroma. Give it a shot and expand your palette.
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