Some of the best single barrels that I’ve had during private barrel selections have been “low” proof. I know that high-tier hazmat scorchers get most of the attention, but sub-120 proof barrels are rare—at least for distillate that enter the barrel at the maximum 125 proof—and those are the barrels get my attention. Now we have the lowest ever Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof and I feel like I’m with my people.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B521 Tasting Notes
Bourbon: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 12 years
ABV: 59.1% (118.2 proof)
Dark amber brown.
Fragrant aromas lead with brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup, rounded out with subtle tobacco and nuttiness.
Creamy butterscotch with baking spices that evolves to more brown sugar, cocoa, tobacco leaf, and black pepper. There’s plenty of complexity for contemplation.
Long and fully warming without heat—a steady warmth that lingers with fading flavors that start sweet and then dries with the fade.
Between my second and third tastings, I watched another review that complained about a “burnt” flavor. I try really hard to not read or watch any reviews until I post my own, and this is why. I was fixated during my third tasting searching for that claimed burnt flavor and probably enjoyed the experience less. But I’m happy to report that there wasn’t anything like that in the flavors. This is just all around a remarkable bourbon.
If anyone needs convincing that low barrel proofs should be as sought after as high barrel proofs, this Elijah Craig Barrel Proof will do it. I asked Heaven Hill whether the lowest proof ever was intentional. I thought that it would make sense to show the range. But Heaven Hill responded that it was just a result of the proof being the right taste profile. And right it is; this is another great success for Elijah Craig.
Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly
provided a bottle for this review,
without any strings attached.