A really outstanding release this time.Extremely smooth yet flavorful. Highly recommend.
Notes: In order to spare our regular readers from the same lead-in, please refer to our earlier reviews of the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof reviews ( especially the ones just prior to this) for discussions and hyperlinks to all the other Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill products we have reviewed and the company background. There is a lot!
This is the second release of the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof series for 2023 and also the eleventh year of this series. There has been a great deal of controversy over the age statements and lack thereof recently. This has since been cleared up as Heaven Hill has reversed itself and is now stating the ages again ( in this case, 11 years and 5 months). Please note that this number is the youngest barrel in the blend, and the ages and proportions change to meet the profile they are blending in each release. The bourbon is as always has been , uncut and non chill filtered also.
Appearance: Gold with some reddish highlights in the glass antique bronze in color. Swirling the whiskey yields a medium coat of slightly oily edge line with legs rapidly forming then the meniscus stays and forms another series of least intervals. Clear as a bell with a bright appearance.
First Impression: Saddle soap leather, charred oak, corn, rye and barley mixed in with ghee5 spice powder and chocolate alkali.
Taste: Extremely smooth for the proof. Oily entry creates a wave of oily warmth coating the tongue nicely.Oak barrel char, cherries, dark chocolate, tobacco, touches of mint and grain mix with saddle leather and cinnamon to deliver a complex but subtle mix of everything in s good bourbon
Drinks: Makes wonderful and deadly smooth cocktails of every bourbon cocktail we tried with it. Also quite delicious on it own in a proper tasting glass either a Glencairn,Riedel,or NEAT glass ( see our reviews on those under our search function) with possibly a touch of unchlorinater warm water , but very drinkable at cask strength.
Bottle: Elongated Horseshoe-shaped flask-type bottle somewhat taller and leaner looking than the older versions of Elijah Craig. The helpful notation below BARREL PROOF notation on the label “UNCUT, STRAIGHT FROM THE BARREL WITHOUT CHILL FILTRATION.” Along with the Proof, Age Statement, and Batch Number
Past Releases: Last Year (2022) The last release before this was the Elijah Craig Batch 922 at 124.8. The one prior to this was the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B522 at 121 proof. Prior to that, this year was the first release of 2022, Batch A122 weighing in at 120.8 (60.4 %). The earlier versions we reviewed in more or less chronological order are the Barrel Proof Versions at 124.2 released in January of 2017, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 127 Proof Lot B517 in May of 2017, and another further release, Batch No. C917 in September 2017, 131.4 Proof Batch C918 in September 2018, 135.2 Proof Batch A119 in January of 2019, 127.2 Proof Batch No.B520, Batch No. A120 136.6 Proof Version was released in early 2020, and the 132.8 Proof C 920 was Released in September 2020. The next bottle and first bottle for 2021 was the A121 at 123.6 proof. The following bottles of 2021 were batch B521, which represented the second release for 2021, released in May and came in at 118.2 proof, and the third and last release of 2021 was Batch C921 of September 0f 2021 at 120.2 proof.
The range of proof from high to low is 136.6 proof (68.3 %) to 118.2 proof (59.1),
For an explanation of Barrel Proof, please look in our classification section. The Barrel Proof series is the latest and follows on from other previous premium releases of 20-Year-Old, the 21-Year-Old, and 23-Year-Old Elijah Craig versions. This barrel-proof series has between 3 and 4 releases a year at different proofs due to the variations of the batches. The Elijah Craig Barrel Proof series will also vary in color and taste within a certain (company and brand profile) degree so that each one will be different up to that point. Barrels falling outside that profile will probably end up in larger blends or, in extreme cases, sold off to be used somewhere else under a different name.
The Batch letter is the code for which release it is for the year (A, B, C, and D are batches 1,2,3,4 for the year, the First digit is the month (1-January, 5 – May, 9- September), the second two numbers denote the year ( in this case 2023).
Other: Cigars: would recommend a good Maduro to pair with and to cut the tobacco.Any of the Fuente Hemingway series or maybe a Joya de Nicaragua .
Final Thoughts: A delicious and smooth barrel proof release well worth looking for.Great value for the price.
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