Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blind Tasting #4: Elijah Craig 12

Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig is a small batch bourbon bottled at 12 years old at 84 proof. It's a standard Heaven Hill product--to my knowledge it is the same mash bill that goes into Evan Williams, it just ages longer in Heaven Hill's Bardstown rick houses.

It's a bourbon that is easy enough to find and at 12 years old and around $38, it is a fairly good deal. On to the notes:

Average: 85.5

Brett:

Nose: very sweet with orange and vanilla; hint of cinnamon

Taste: starts out a little nutty and bitter with some pepper on the tongue

Finish: rounds out nicely to a warm sweet finish; raisin bread

overall: 85

Maybe not for special occasions but this would be an excellent pour to enjoy on any given day.

Gulliver:

Nose: sweetness

Taste: burnt sugar, vanilla

Good if unexceptional. Scent of vanilla and nice sweetness. Good heat in finish but not overpowering. Woody finish.

84/100

Jason:

Color and nose: A pale amber color that slightly refracts red light. It looks like a whisky that has a bit of verve and character, but won’t put hair on your chest if taken in voluminous amounts. It has a well-balanced nose of caramel, corn, and charcoal, favoring the caramel slightly.
 
Taste and finish: Not exceptionally boozy, the initial hit is predominately earthy: corn, grass, soil. It progresses through a bit of leather and oak with a surge of cotton candy and a hint of charcoal before the finish. The finish is elliptic; it’s not noticeably round nor is it pointed. This is mainly due to the latent effect of the alcohol that mildly abrades the back of the tongue as it goes down. The flavor is again full of corn intermixed with tannins.
 
Overall: While tasting, I thought to myself that this whisky tastes like what a baseball game ought to taste like and I think the analogy is apt. Beyond the elements of its flavor (grass, leather, wood), this is a whisky that takes its time. It doesn’t move fast or much at all. There is a bit of action between the nose and the taste and the finish, but the action is short and not at all violent. This is a pastoral whisky that through its grace is simply pleasing to drink. What more could you ask for? A solid 89.

Keith:

Nose: Cherries & Fruit, corn sweetness

Taste: Dry. Fruit builds from the front to back. Starts cornstalk and gets fruity. Some spice. Not an assertive bourbon. Mild wood

Finish: Warm tingle, jolly rancher, medium length

Overall: 84, solid but not spectacular. Needs more oomph.

This one has the reputation of varying a great deal from batch to batch. This seemed like a middling batch. As always, your mileage may vary.

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