Posted on January 20, 2012 | By TheEnabler | Comments Off on Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 Year-Old Bourbon – The Review
Driving through a small valley town after a long day in the car, I am getting in need of a drink. I notice a corner bar, “The Duck Club”. I park next to about 12 Ford F-150 pickup trucks (My Honda Civic is not afraid) and go into the bar. Even though it is illegal in California, the bar smells a bit of cigarette smoke. I walk past the shuffleboard tables and go up to the bar. There are hundreds of 1 dollar bills tacked to the ceiling above the bar. I notice to the left of them a lovely painting of dogs playing poker. I ask the bartender for a nervous shot of his best bourbon. He immediately reaches for a bottle and pours a generous amount of what turns out to be Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 Year-Old Bourbon.
The above paragraph is fictional. However, to skip ahead a bit on the review, Elijah Craig 18 Year is the bourbon you would get in a bar that had pictures of dogs playing poker, if you ordered their best bourbon.
Our bottle was Barrel 2765, Dated 3-1-91.
Color: A deep orange-amber. A very inviting color.
Nose: Hints of vanilla, a lot of maple syrup, and a tiny amount of perhaps citrus – it is elusive. Also a bit of what I can best describe as airplane glue – ketones.
Taste: Some pepper, caramel and oak. It has a bit of jasmine to it. Yes, jasmine I said. A little bit of water brings out more of the sweetness, it is fairly dry if you do not open it up with water. Some bite at first, overall it is smooth and relaxed. One of us also got coconut.
Finish: A medium to long finish, I get tobacco on the finish. LL Mike got a long, smooth finish. The Palate got looooong spice.
Overall, this is a very good bourbon. Well worth having in your cabinet. It is a single barrel and based on reviews I have seen and other impressions people have told me about I think that there is probably a fair variance between batches. That being said, I have not heard much bad about it at all. I would definitely pick up a bottle if you can. You should find bottles in the $40 to $50 dollar range. If you can find it under $40.00, consider that a bargain.
As I opened with – This is not the best bourbon I have ever had, but it is certainly up there. In my minds eye, this bourbon is the one a bar that has dogs playing poker would have as their best bourbon in the house.
This is billed as the oldest single barrel bourbon in the world. According to the distillers, over half the barrel is lost to the “Angel’s Share” during the aging process.
It is bottled at 90 Proof and produced by Heaven Hill Distillers, Bardstown, Kentucky.
The Bourbon is named for the Rev. Elijah Craig, the man who discovered the method of making true Kentucky Bourbon when he stored his wares in barrels that had been charred in a fire. Rev. Elijah Craig also built Kentucky’s first fulling mill, its first paper mill, its first reopwalk, and the first lumber and gristmill at Georgetown.