Elijah Craig Single Barrel (23 year)
The lower floors of our rickhouses provide slower, gentler aging. There, our Master Distillers sample barrels for multi-layered taste and aroma profiles. Among their findings, they select those that meet their strict nosing and taste criteria to become Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old Single Barrel. This unique Bourbon has endured more than ninety Kentucky seasons, creating a distinctive aroma and taste that’s definitely worth the wait.
It wasn’t 2 months ago that Droopy and I wrangled the Elijah Craig 18 year for $200. Before then, we scoffed at anything over $100 and seldom bit the bullet on only the most promising purchases. Not enough of those purchases encouraged a landslide of our mentality toward ultra premium bourbons. The EC 18 year (followed by the Sazerac 18 year) was the “crossing of the bourbon Rubicon” for us and we are now committed to getting our grubby paws on as many ultra premiums as possible. During my Christmas vacation trip home to Kentucky, I visited nearly 20 distilleries, where I scored this little guy at the Heaven Hill distillery, of all places! Here goes!
Nose - No fume whatsoever and a more dank and musty version of the nose from the 18 year. I definitely pick up the oak and vanilla and the barn smell I love merged with that of a cool, dark cellar. It is great but I think I prefer the 18 year nose a bit more. Not disappointing, just different.
Taste - First sip was overly oaky…almost hides the bouquet of fruits and grains that I prefer to taste in addition to the barrel. The spice is peppery and coats the tongue…and the finish is purely pepper. Thus far, I am bitter and indignant, considering how highly I regard the 18 year and Heaven Hill in general…I also paid $280 for this son-of-a-motherless goat!! I DEMAND SATISFACTION!!! Alright, second sip…a very minute touch of vanilla and I held the sip in my mouth to draw out any additional flavors until it began to scorch my tongue. The finish leaves you feeling like you ate something that had too much pepper on it and it lingers on the tongue, almost dehydrating your mouth and taste buds. FUCK THIS! I paid $280!!! Well, I wish I had a time machine to go back and reclaim the case of Eagle Rare I blew on this bottle of ash tray runoff!
Is it worth the $?
DEAR GOD NO!!! I got this at a reduced price from the $550 it was selling for at the liquor store just 5 miles from the distillery. This is exactly why the bourbon industry and secondary market needs to get their shit together. If I gambled even $150 on this and missed, I would walk away disappointed and simply be shy of overspending for a bit. For $280, I am legitimately pissed. Now that I am done typing, my mouth feels like it has been sapped of all moisture and left with a gross aftertaste. My parting thought: