Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Elijah Craig A117 Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Elijah Craig is one of those iconic Bourbon brands. As the story goes, Elijah Craig was a Baptist preacher who, in 1789, would up inventing Bourbon. That's the legend. Truth is more lore and far more complicated. But, he is considered the Father of Bourbon.

I've held my bottle of Batch A117 for almost a year. I cracked it open today. While I've not had a bad bottle of Barrel Proof, each is very different and some are absolutely better than others. There's no guarantee of a great pour.

Batch A117 was released in January 2017. Like all Elijah Craig offerings, the mash is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley. It was aged a dozen years before being dumped at 127.0°.

The color is a beautiful deep, dark brown. That's exciting because it really takes on the characteristics of the barrel. Swirling it in my glass leaves a very thin rim that drops a heavy, wavy curtain back into the pool.

Aromas of cherry and honey permeate my nostrils when holding the glass to my chin. Bringing it up to my lips adds oak and caramel. Lifting it directly under my nose, the cherry becomes more of a plum. Inhaling through my lips yeilds big vanilla.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. It coats everything in my mouth and almost requires effort to get to the back of the throat.

Flavors of dark chocolate and berries are way up front. Behind that are orange peel, clove and charred oak. Patience brings vanilla way, way back. That's fun because vanilla isn't typically something I pick up in the back.

At this proof, there's less burn than you'd ever guess. Elijah Craig is known for a heavier finish. But, it is smooth, luxurious and creamy. Perhaps it is the lower than normal proof that causes this. I will say clove and oak stick around a long time.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: I typically find Elijah Craig Barrel Proof between $69 and $79. I find this completely enjoyable, an excellent representative of the brand, and would absolutely grab another Bottle if I saw it on the shelf.

On a final note, I drank this neat, just as I do every whiskey. Water added freshly sawn wood to the nose and tea to the palate which I didn't care for.