Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Elijah Craig 21
Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig bourbon just keeps getting older and older. For years, Elijah Craig single barrel was an 18 year old. Then, in 2011, they released a Elijah Craig 20 year old. Now, there's a 21 year old, and TTB COLAs show that it will likely be followed by 22 year old and 23 year old expressions. Of course, as the whiskey gets older, the price goes up by an even higher rate. The 18 year old used to be in the $40 range. The 20 and 21 year old are a full $100 more than that.
And keep in mind that these are single barrels, so different barrels will vary (and Elijah Craig is particularly known for barrel variation).
Elijah Craig 21 year old, Barrel #6, 45% abv ($150)
The nose is very nice and very typical of Elijah Craig with lots of polished wood notes and some spice. The palate is dry and spicy with lots of oak and a touch of acid; that sourness of the acid dominates the early finish but is then followed by some brown sugar and really nice oaky bourbon notes.
Overall, these super aged Elijah Craigs have not impressed me. I'm a fan of oak, but I think this one just has a bit too much and the sour notes didn't help. I really wish they would have just kept releasing Elijah Craig at 18, which may have been the best age for this bourbon, but in today's market, I suppose it's hard not to ramp up the age and the price.