Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 12 Years
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
MSRP: $60 (2019)
Heaven Hill launched Elijah Craig Barrel Proof as a brand extension of their popular Elijah Craig brand in 2013. Since the initial launch, the brand has blossomed in popularity and the three yearly batches are still highly sought after by consumers. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof still carries a 12 year age statement and in a sea of barrel proof bourbons, is sold at a competitive price point.
Barrel proof bourbon batches can typically be identified by their proof, though that can be misleading as the proof could be the same from batch to batch depending how the cards fall. Fortunately, Heaven Hill makes identifying batches an easy task by assigning each a code - this one being “A” (for first batch of the year) - “1” (released in January) - “19” (released in 2019).
Surprisingly light on ethanol for the proof, the nose delivers a rich dose of dark fruits, oak, burnt caramel, toffee, and a hint of fresh baked pie crust. An oily sip coats the mouth and delivers a touch of sweetness along with vanilla, tannic oak, and a healthy dose of heat. The heat from the sip is carried over dominating the start of the finish. As it starts to diminish, slight hints of vanilla, caramel, and the dark fruits from the nose re-emerge. The finish is long and lingering with heat and mild oak.
Overall this is a big bold batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof that delivers a rich pour from start all the way to finish. The nose is fantastic and lulls you into believing that this will be a tamer batch for the brand until you take a sip and get plowed over by the intensity of its 135 plus proofpoint. While it may not win accolades like Batch B517 did in 2017, overall this is a great representation of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and will please many who seek higher proof bourbons.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Heaven Hill. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.