Review: Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof / by Jason Hambrey

12 Years; Charred Virgin Oak
75% Corn; 13% Rye; 12% Malt
Distiller Heaven Hill (Bardstown, Kentucky)

A cask strength version of the standard Elijah Craig...

Review (2016)

  • Batch: 12th Release
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Lots of oak on the nose – not surprising for a 12 year old bourbon. Very rich - lots of vanilla, furniture polish, apple, caramel, maple, and a slight bit of rocky mineral character. Very woody, and dry too. Also some sweet floral character – it sweetens with added water, but comes out more as a dried flower note on the nose. The nose itself is dry, but brings to mind a number of dry things – like potpourri. Dried orange, roasted macadamia nuts. Very enjoyable!

The palate has apple, oak char, and tannins creeping up – almost too much, but they’re not over the edge. Well balanced, and a good set of flavours. Loads of oak on the finish. A fabulous delivery, oily in feel (and lightly on the palate) – but restrained so it’s not overwhelming at 64%. Lots of tingly tannins on the finish, and some black tea.

Kentucky sure has some nice distilleries. Terrific stuff.

Score: 88/100

Value: 44/100 (based on $112)