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We’ve lined a variety of non-public barrel picks through the years, from the likes of Buffalo Hint, 4 Roses, and even Jefferson’s, however one model we haven’t but sampled a non-public barrel of is Elijah Craig. Heaven Hill first bought into the non-public barrel recreation a number of years again (with any actual seriousness, a minimum of). That was later than most manufacturers due in all probability to a reputable scarcity of aged inventory for his or her beloved flagship providing. Not lengthy after dropping the 12-year-old age assertion, I started to see increasingly more of those “non-public alternatives.” Coincidence? I believe not. Heaven Hill wasn’t precisely opening the bourbon flood gates although. The barrels have been obtainable solely to bars and retailers, and in contrast to different manufacturers, you can solely get them at the usual 94 proof. Whereas that made them much less thrilling in comparison with a lot of different picks, it a minimum of saved the value proper. I grabbed two of those through the years, one from Love Level Deli Wine & Spirits and one other from Dry 85, a terrific bourbon bar in Annapolis, Maryland. Opinions comply with.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Privately Chosen Barrel (Dry 85) – Fairly traditional Craig aroma right here, though it comes throughout a bit youthful than I keep in mind with some cooked grain and matchheads combined in. Nonetheless, there’s sufficient butterscotch sweetness and spice cupboard notes to maintain this one on the nice aspect. The palate is, as anticipated, stuffed with syrupy brown sugar. That is Craig, in any case. That sweetness dominates all the things else throughout the sip such that buttery caramel and toffee with a little bit of cinnamon spice is the extent of the expertise. There’s not quite a bit to put in writing house about till the end arrives with a bit extra seasoned oak than is typical with the usual providing, imparting a definite chocolate chip cookie be aware. Simply distinctive sufficient to be a non-public choose. 94 proof. (Barrel #5701168) B / $35
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Privately Chosen Barrel (Love Level Deli Wine & Spirits) – This aroma is bolder and extra nuanced than the Dry 85 choose with much more barrel char and cocoa, some chocolate-covered raisin even. This appears older, and it in all probability is, as a result of I’ve heard a number of the more moderen picks are approaching 11+ years of age. The palate is once more a bit one-dimensional, however the sweetness isn’t cloying or overdone. There’s maybe a bit extra baking spice swimming under all that caramel syrup. It’s oily on the tongue with a tender, even warmth. No actual surprises on the end, however all the things comes along with a pleasant steadiness that lingers. Higher than the usual providing by a hair, and a terrific worth for a non-public barrel choose. 94 proof. (Rickhouse V, Flooring 5, Barrel #5594653) B+ / $25
Earlier this 12 months, Heaven Hill introduced that their non-public barrels will lastly be obtainable to retailers at barrel proof. So, count on the value to go up. Approach up. Nevertheless it ought to make for a extra attention-grabbing ingesting expertise. Keep tuned!