Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: NAS (Store confirms it to be 9 years old)
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Citing a surge in popularity and supply not meeting demand, Heaven Hill removed Elijah Craig 12 Year's age statement in 2016. It was rebranded to “Small Batch,” and while there is no official age statement the batches are rumored to contain bourbons in the 8-12 year old range. For this particular bottle, even though the age is not stated on the bottle, Third Base Market & Spirits selected a 9 year old single barrel. The barrel selected was #5222012 and was pulled from barrel location X-3.
The nose is very traditional and leads with oak and nut followed by a hint of banana chips and vanilla. The palate is light with hints of sweet vanilla and oak. The sip is rounded out with a short finish consisting of vanilla, oak, and a dash of pepper.
Ever since losing its 12 year age statement, Elijah Craig has been a staple of store selections. While not all store selections live up to the old age stated version, in general they are much better than the current NAS version being bottled by Heaven Hill. This store selection proves that point again with a simple yet enjoyable flavor profile. Whenever given the choice this just reconfirms that you should grab an Elijah Craig store selection versus the standard NAS bottling.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Third Base Market & Spirits. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.