Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Beer Barrels
Company: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Release Date: September 2020
Age: NAS bourbon finished in beer barrels for 9 months
Mashbill: 78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye
Color: Dark Copper
MSRP: $40 (200 ml) (2021)
Chocolate malt | Baking chocolate | Caramel | Hints of vanilla | Rich with clear barrel finish influence
Chocolate beer | Barely | Aged oak | Pop of rye spice | Clear beer barrel influence
Rye spice | Leather | Light sweet chocolate | Lingering heat | Light oak | Nice contrast of flavors
Elijah Craig Beer Barrel Finish is a unique collaboration between Heaven Hill and Goose Island Brewery out of Chicago. To create the 2020 version of this bourbon, Elijah Craig Small Batch barrels were dumped and sent to Goose Island to age their Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. This beer would eventually be released on Black Friday, 2018. Three barrels used to create the beer were then sent back to Heaven Hill, where according to the packaging, they were filled with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon for an additional 9 months before being bottled in 200ml bottles.
The resulting bourbon is something incredibly distinct from your standard Elijah Craig Small Batch. Gone is your classic bourbon flavor that Elijah Craig Small Batch is so well known for. In its place is a rich chocolatey swirl of flavors that clearly showcases the beer barrel finish influence on this bourbon. It reminds me a lot of War Penny Krogh's Stout Beer Barrel Finish Bourbon, however since the base bourbon used has more age on it, the resulting bourbon is more refined. While priced high at $40 for a 200ml bottle, if you’re a lover of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, or just beer barrel finished bourbon in general, this is one you’ll want to check out.