Elijah Craig Single Barrel (18 year)
Ready to experience some of the oldest Bourbon barrels in Kentucky? Our 18-Year-Old Bourbon is bottled solely from the contents of one barrel, not the mingling of many. This expression of Bourbon-making craftsmanship is bold and robust. Truly a Bourbon for the avid collector, this bottle has won countless awards and is regularly listed as a top choice by those who appreciate its smooth yet complex flavor.
Well, it has taken me a couple years to a) track down this bourbon in a liquor store and b) get up the nerve to spend this much on a bottle. Droopy and I happened to stumble on this tonight with a random “let’s grab some dinner at the Pub and swing by the liquor store across the bridge to see if they got anything good.” We were annoying the clerk with our typical “where’s the Pappy?!” banter when she asked what all we were looking for. We rattled off the typical canned list of Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, to which we received the stone-faced ‘yeah, you and every other half-wit rube that comes in here’ look from her. Then I mentioned the Elijah 18 and she paused for a moment, opened the secret stash door right behind her, and pulled out this little Christmas miracle! The EC small batch is one of my top five go to drinkers and I keep my cabinet stocked with it. The 18 year was regarded as another Haley’s Comets of bourbons by Droopy and I…only seen every 75 years or so. However, we ran across a bottle at a shit-heel of a liquor store in Sanford, FL last month and the clerk was hard fast on $300. Though not an easy pill to swallow, I coughed up $175 tonight to get this in my cabinet. From an aesthetics standpoint, the bottle is a classy design and another squatty bottle that fits nicely in the center (room restricted) row of my bourbon cabinet. The cork is topped with a slick looking gold coin engraved by the Elijah Craig signature.
Nose - I pulled the cork out of the bottle and stuck it to my nose. HO-LY SHIT…amazing….I can’t put the cork down to pour a glass. Alright, let’s see what its like in the snifter. HAL-LE-LU-JAH!! It’s so good! No fumes and a perfect merger of everything I like about smelling bourbon. Not too sweet, not too spicy, not bland….just a nice even keeled, balanced aroma of the vanilla that is prevalent in most bourbons, oaky/slightly musty barn smell, and even a citrus/minty aroma lingering in the backdrop. It is DINO-MITE!!
Taste - I’m almost afraid to sip it for fear of any letdown from the buildup to this point! Here we go! First sip, a bit of tingle to the front of the tongue that makes its way down halfway and then dissipates. The peppery notes make their way to the sides of the tongue while the sweeter notes linger on the centermost portion of my palate. The flavor is terrific….as balanced as the aroma….again a merger of what I like most in a bourbon. Overly sweet bourbons are off-putting and offensive to me and this one is right on point. It has enough spice to add character, yet is not overpowering. The finish is fantastic and leaves a subtle cinnamon aftertaste, almost like a watered down cinnamon candy. The second sip is better than the first and it has a light buttery texture. I just took a third, larger mouthful and it gives a spicier experience, but still magnificent. I may be smitten with my new, unlikely purchase, but my mindset is that this is my overall favorite bourbon in my collection.
Is it worth the $?
There is no way I can ever say a bottle of bourbon is worth $175…so I won’t…I’ll type it instead! This bottle is worth it…I HAVE NO REGRETS PAYING WHAT I DID FOR THIS BOTTLE AND WELCOME IT WITH OPEN ARMS INTO IT’S NEW FAMILY!!! If I find another bottle for this price, it is coming home too!!