Sipp’n Corn Tasting Notes: Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof C921 and A122.

2022 is the 10-year anniversary of Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof.  Over these years it has given us so much reason to celebrate and it helped lead the trend to barrel proof bourbon.  And I look forward three times every year for each new limited release.

When I posted a picture of the newest batch of Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof (the first of 2022, Batch A122), responses decried how slow the distributor is, because the final batch of 2021 (Batch C921, from September) hadn’t even hit the shelves yet in many states.  Since, depending on location, you might be able to find one batch or the other, and because the proof of these two are so close, let’s look at them together.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C921 Tasting Notes

Bourbon:        Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery:       Heaven Hill
Age:                12 years
ABV:              60.1% (120.2 proof)
SRP:               $59.99

Appearance:
Deep amber.

Nose:
Evident heat but still inviting with classic oak, caramel, vanilla, honey, and a little more light fruit and berries than I’m used to with Elijah Craig.  The aromas are rich and luxurious, making me think that this is going to be creamy and decadent.

Taste:
The aromas ended up being the perfect predictor.  It’s beautifully sweet with rich dessert qualities—caramel, vanilla cream chocolate candy, nuttiness, and sweet berries.  At first there’s a little less oak than in many Elijah Craigs, but then it comes through in the mid palate along with some slight black pepper and rye spice.

Finish:
More oak and spice come through in the long finish, with a great fade of tobacco.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A122 Tasting Notes

Bourbon:        Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery:       Heaven Hill
Age:                12 years
ABV:              60.4% (120.8 proof)
SRP:               $59.99

Appearance:
Deep copper.

Nose:
The aromas are classic Elijah Craig, known for caramel and oak, nuttiness, with vanilla and baking spice.

Taste:
Great balance of brown sugar, caramel apple pie, and a bit of cocoa, along with a building push of rye spice, black pepper, and oak.  It’s not a robust blast, but instead builds with complexity.  This is all right down the center of being on-profile for Elijah Craig, which is another way to say that it’s fantastic.

Finish:
Long, warm, consistent with the flavors and with the emergence of cinnamon to complement the caramel and oak.

Bottom Line

These two batches of Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof have some familial similarities, yet they’re still distinctive, and that’s exactly one of the things that I love about this series.  C921 is sweeter and despite the nearly identical proof, C921 also drinks less hot.  A122 falls more in line with the classic flavors of Elijah Craig with a big oak backbone after the caramel and complex spice.  Whichever one of these you find, they’re both a strong buy.

Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly
sent me a sample for this review,
without any strings attached.  Thank you.

One Comment on “Sipp’n Corn Tasting Notes: Elijah Craig 12-Year Barrel Proof C921 and A122.

  1. I’ve been sipping whisky critically and not so critically since 1994. Back in the 1994 it was all about Scotland. In the early 2000s I discovered Irish Pot Still. At that time I gifted many bottles of 80 proof Redbreast, declaring it heaven in a bottle for $50. Fast forward to EC Barrel Proof, batch 921. This follows in the footsteps of the Redbreast. I previously preferred lower proof but this stuff, with a splash of water or not, is amazing. It takes everything you taste in the cheap as chips Evan Williams 1783 and amplifies it. Everyone chasing unobtainable bottles owes it to themselves to try this. This is the peak bourbon, as a bonus it’s affordable and reasonably available.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: