Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a 12 year old, uncut, barrel proof bourbon made in small batches bottled straight from the barrel. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is one of the more well-known barrel proof offerings in the bourbon whiskey world. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is unique because Heaven Hill Distillery does three releases each year, with every batch coming in at a slightly different proof and of course a slightly different flavor profile. The variance in proof from batch to batch is a really cool opportunity to explore the impact of the angel’s share, and how it impacts the proof in a small batch of barrels.
This batch being reviewed is 136 proof and was the last release of 2016. Uncut, straight from the barrel without chill filtering is about as close as you can come to enjoying Elijah Craig Barrel Proof the same way the Master Distiller’s do when they sample straight from the barrel in those beautiful Kentucky rickhouses.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof mash bill: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, and 12% Malted Barley.
Distiller: Heaven Hill Distillery
Age: 12 years old
ABV: 68% (136 proof)
A bit alcohol forward, but not as much as some other batches I’ve tried, tons of seasoned oak with dark fruits, burnt caramel, pepper spice, and a slight citrus note.
Oak heavy with dark dried fruit, lots of dark toasted buttery caramel, sweet vanilla with some notes of cinnamon spice, bits of dark cocoa nibs, and a slight lemon citrus ester. Adding a splash of water really helps bring out the flavors on this one.
The finish is mouth warming and long, with lots of oak, dark fruit and caramel, following is a bit of a peppery vanilla and touch of leather.
Barrel Strength offerings are always going to be a little higher in price, especially lately; prices are soaring with more and more people getting into barrel strength or high proof bourbon whiskey. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof has seen a slight price increase as well, but is still an awesome value at around $65. A lot of other barrel proof offerings are being priced well above what Elijah Craig Barrel Proof sells for at msrp, and some of those do not even come close in quality. Elijah Craig is a well-established brand that knows what they are doing, so if you can get ahold of a bottle I highly recommend you buy it.