The Schtick: Elijah Craig Toasted barrel is a new entry in Heaven Hill’s catalogue, bringing them to parity with other brands like Michter’s and Old Forester who also supply toasted releases. After primary maturation, the Elijah Craig bourbon is further matured in a barrel that has been toasted, rather than charred. This is bottled at Elijah Craig’s standard 47% ABV and I’ve been working through this bottle for a month or two now. Let’s get to it.
Disclosure: Heaven Hill asked me to review this, and sent some along.
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Bottler: Heaven Hill
Brand: Elijah Craig
ABV: 47% ABV
Nose: Fudge, toffee, confectioners sugar and almond. Quite a bit of honey, some sweet berry, and hefty oak. A bit more complex than I appraised at first, the berry notes and the honey presence is a bit more forward than on first opening where oak dominated a bit more.
Taste: Thin to medium mouth feel. Heavy on the cocoa, plenty of oak, some toffee. A buttery sweetness. Overall, the palate leans heavy on the oak, though without a funky splenda note I get in other toasted releases. A bit muted, though not hot.
Finish: Medium finish, oaky and dry. There’s a bit of heat here. Plenty of wood character, cocoa, and some toffee.
Overall: Overall, this is V1 of a new product. I think it’s a good start, but there’s work to do. The nose is really very nice. The palate feels a bit thin – surprising given how much oak emanates in each step of the tasting. This is better than Michter’s efforts in my opinion, which gives me hope. I bet if Heaven Hill can dial this in a bit, they’ll have a rockstar in their pocket, though there’s work to do before they get there. It’s a release to keep your eye on. I’m looking forward to comparing this release to future batches in an effort to hopefully see some big improvement.
Thanks for reading!
10 Most Recent Heaven Hill Expressions I Have Reviewed:
- Review #1752. Old Fitzgerald 15yr Bottled in Bond 2004
- Review #1746. Old Fitzgerald 14yr Bottled in Bond 2005
- Review #1743. Daviess County French Oak Finished Bourbon
- Review #1740. Daviess County Straight Bourbon
- Review #1737. Daviess County Cabernet Finished Bourbon
- Review #1717. Old Fitzgerald 9yr Bottled In Bond 2011
- Review #1712. Larceny Barrel Proof Batch A120
- Review #1604. Evan Williams Single Barrel
- Review #1505. Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 13yr Limited Edition 2005 Fall Release
- Review #1483. Parkers Heritage Collection 8yr Rye