Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B523

The B523 release of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof has some controversy attached to it as it is the first release to be aged less than 12 years and it comes with a price increase. The new label which continues to be hand-written now features a spot for age and the B523 comes in at 11 Years and 5 months making it the youngest barrel proof release to date.

This release marks the 32nd in the series. Generally speaking the A bottles are bottled in January, B in May and C in September. Here in New Hampshire the A bottles didn’t make it to the shelves until May and the B bottles just appeared on the shelves today.

History of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Batch Proof Year
B523 124.2 (Aged 11 Years, 5 Months) 2023
A123 125.6 2023
C922 124.8 2022
B522 121.0 2022
A122 120.8 2022
C921 120.2 2021
B521 118.2 (Lowest Poof) 2021
A121 123.6 2021
C920 136.6 2020
B520 127.2 2020
A120 136.6 2010
C919 136.8 2019
B519 122.2 2019
A119 135.2 2019
C918 131.4 2018
B518 133.4 2018
A118 130.6 2018
C917 131.0 2017
B517 124.2 2017
A117 127,0 2017
C916 136.0 2016
B516 139.4 2016
A116 138.8 2016
C915 135.6 2015
B515 139.8 2015
A215 128.0 2015
C914 140.2 (Highest Proof) 2014
B514 134.8 2014
A314 140.2 (Highest Proof) 2014
C913 133.2 2013
B713 137.0 2013
A313 134.2 2013

Editor’s Note: If you notice an error above please contact us. 

Bourbon Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
62.1% (124.2 Proof)
Age: 12 Years
Dark Bronze
Mash Bill: 
78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye
Elijah Craig Distillery Co. 
Bardstown, KY (USA)

The Nose: The nose lacks heat which catches me of guard but is a welcomed change to the ECBP series. There are notes of caramel, apples and oak. A subsequent pull of the aromas sees the additional of vanilla and a lighter wood that is perhaps pine.

The Taste: The front end of the Barrel Proof from Elijah Craig is very syrupy and exceptionally sweet. It isn’t until the finish that the  some heat shows up. The initial sip has an abundance of cherries and raisins. A secondary sip sees the cherry sweetness transition to more of a vanilla component with some charred oak and rye on the long finish.

The Pairing: We opted to pair our pour with an Ashton VSG which was released in 1999 by Philadelphia based Ashton. The cigars are made at Fuente in the Dominican Republic. On its own the cigar offers up notes of black pepper, earth, cedar, nutmeg and coffee. The pairing helps cut back the sweetness and enhance the rye finish of the bourbon. As always the pairing doesn’t factor into the final score.

The Conclusion: There was some initial concern that Elijah Craig would be rushing out their barrel proof with the lowering of the age statement. The next release C923 is expected to come in as the highest age of the barrel proof line to date. Previously in New Hampshire, the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof sold for $59.99. The new price reflects a 25% increase which is a tough pill to swallow. If you like sweet on the front side and high ABV this one will be in your wheelhouse. Based on online reviews I might be in the minority as I preferred the A123 more as this might be a little too sweet for me on the front end. For now I’ll put it on the back of the bar and let it sit for a bit before revisiting.

Score: 88
Price: $74.99 (New Hampshire, 750 ml)


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