Elijah Craig Single Barrel Bourbon Review
Elijah Craig Single Barrel Bourbon
18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
90 Proof (45% ABV)
Typical Price: About $40 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
We had already developed our opinion of Elijah Craig when we tried his 12 year old Bourbon, so when we drank the 18 year old we expected it to be half again as good. The 18 year old is another single barrel whiskey like the Evan Williams 1996 we tried, but even our first whiff told us it had a very different character. So how did Elijah's older offspring measure up?
The Color: Wait For It...
Yes, like all the other Bourbons we've reviewed thus far, Elijah Craig is brown.
The Nose: Sweet And Nutty
We smelled caramel and nuts, sweet and appealing. Sweet and nutty...that makes it the Rose Nylund of Bourbons. Wait, is that the second Golden Girls joke we've made during Whiskey Week? It might be time to detox.
The Taste: A Hot 18 Year Old
There are quite a few flavors running through this one, vanilla and wood and honey and smoke among them. The honey is the most assertive, matched only by the smoke. In fact, this is an interesting one - it's very smoky, and where there's smoke there's fire. We liked the charred taste, and we also liked the throaty burn we could feel when the rye reared its head. It was viscous and oily, and you can expect the finish to hang around for a while even after you swallow it.
The Recipes: Don't You Dare
Seriously - don't mix this one. It's great straight, so don't bother with even water or ice. Seems like this would be a great Bourbon to go along with a cigar, but we didn't have any stogies around the office.
The Verdict: A Great Drink For Special Occasions
This one's complex and exciting, but it might be a bit much for people who don't drink a lot of Bourbon. It's definitely five-star stuff, but not one you'll want to use to bring someone into the fold. If you're an enthusiast and you haven't tried it yet, however, give it a shot and let us know what you think. We were quite pleased, and it's on our list for special occasions and gifts for bosses.
The Site: Learn more and see more reviews about Elijah Craig Single Barrel at the Bardstown Bourbon Society.
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at March 5, 2006 2:28 PM
I became the ultimate rum snob a few years ago, and indulged in the most pricy, rare and exotic rums in the world. I've tried a few good Cognacs as well, but not as extensively as my rum kick. As far as rums go, I started out enjoying those that were a little on the sweet and floral side. My tastes matured and I decided that the best rum in the world, regardless of price, was Mount Gay Extra Old, though I still like Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 year. Today, I thought I’d try something different, but of equal quality. After looking at various Kentucky Bourbons, I settled on this 18 year old Elijah Craig single barrel Bourbon, given the awards and highest ratings it has received and because it was a single barrel and 18 years old. Certainly there were more expensive Bourbons and those in more handsome bottles, but I’m glad I chose this one.
While unpretentious, Elijah Craig 18 year old Bourbon represents the apex of American craftsmanship, integrity and tradition. Only a Boubon made with the finest skill, ingredients, and patience could produce such a warmly mellifluous sip that exudes both complexity, and pure natural simplicity. If only today’s U.S. political leaders had the same singular goal of excellence and integrity!