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
|B523||124.2 (Aged 11 Years, 5 Months)||2023|
|B521||118.2 (Lowest Poof)||2021|
|C914||140.2 (Highest Proof)||2014|
|A314||140.2 (Highest Proof)||2014|
Bourbon Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
ABV: 62.1% (124.2 Proof)
Age: 12 Years
Color: Dark Bronze
Mash Bill: 78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye
Distillery: Elijah Craig Distillery Co.
Location: 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.
Price: $74.99 (New Hampshire, 750 ml)