The latest batch of Heaven Hill’s fantastic Elijah Craig Barrel Proof series. This one comes in at a generous and formidable 68% ABV, ensuring full aroma, flavour and intensity. Like all Bourbons, this has been aged in virgin American oak casks, though Elijah Craig practice a heavy char, in homage to their namesake Rev. Elijah Craig “the Father of Bourbon”. Craig’s barn caught light one night, with many of his barrels left badly burnt. Rather than throw them away, Craig filled them with new make whiskey, and found it created a spirit of superb quality. Many point to this moment as the birth as Bourbon as we know it.
Therefore, Heaven Hill have a lot to live up to with this release, but they more than match these high expectations. This Bourbon is made with a mashbill of 75% corn, 12% rye and 13% barley, resulting in a wonderful balance of sweet, spice and malty notes. On the nose, Elijah Craig is packed with typical Bourbon aromas: hot cinnamon and bright maple syrup, caramel, barrel char, roasted corn, cloves, red apples and bananas. The palate is dense and oily, with hot, toasted woodspice: nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Some roasted almonds and sweet vanilla emerges after awhile, accompanied by flavours of burnt brown sugar and candied apples. The finish is long, introducing a citrus rind note alongside a marvellous rye spice. A classic batch release, and with good reason, this is high-proof Bourbon at its best, and a great chance to taste the finest of what Heaven Hill has to offer.