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. 


Unknown said...

Absolutely agree. The Elijah Craig 18 was my favorite bourbon, but at the higher prices it's not just unaffordable ... it's unavailable, too. I've only seen it in one store.

Justin Victor said...

I managed to bunker 12 bottles of the 18 year before it disappeared. I fail to see 2 or 3 extra years causing this whiskey to merit such a jump in price. At 18 years I had a bottle or 2 I thought was already too woody.

Side thought: is this an acceptable instance of whiskey hoarding?


Anonymous said...

It's just business; much like any product, you charge what the buyer will pay. It seems like they're having no problem selling the product at the higher price.

BMc said...

Justin, please see the first comment in the Stagg Jr. post for appropriate ways to brag about your "bunker". You need to link to a picture of you with your finds, and maybe include a few other rare bottles behind or next to them, slightly out of focus, all casual-like.

Justin said...

Bmc, I figured since it was a blog post about the 21 yr it would be off topic to post a pic of a different bottle.

I only bunkered so many 18's because it was much more affordable than its new older sibling.

But you may be right anyway. Maybe I should have posted a pic. Let me see what I can do.


Anonymous said...

@Justin: hold on tight to those EC 18's, zombies like good bourbon as well as human flesh!!