Elijah Craig 12 Year Barrel Proof / Straight Bourbon
usa / 122.2 proof / 750 ml
There are certain traits of high quality bourbons that connoisseurs seek out. Higher age statements, no chill filtration, and barrel proof offerings are three of the most prominent. Elijah Craig 12 Year Barrel Proof Bourbon checks all the boxes, and comes from one of the country's most respected distilleries, Heaven Hill, to boot. The more time a whiskey spends in a barrel, up to a point, the more complex flavors are imparted from that barrel, and the softer the tannins can get. 8-14 years is usually considered a sweet spot. Chill Filtration can provide more clarity to a bourbon, and it won't become cloudy when chilled, but it removes many compounds like fatty acids that add to the complexity of a whiskey. Finally, proofing down just means more water in your bottle, and barrel proof whiskey retains all the complexity of the barrel aged product. It's rare to find all three of these things in a whiskey priced under $100, but here we are. The age, proof, process, and quality, and drinkability are comparable to George T. Stagg, at a fraction of the price. Enjoy this stellar bourbon on its own with a couple of drops of water, bringing out delicious vanilla and freshly-baked cinnamon roll notes, with surprising hints of lemon and lime zest, as well as some stone fruits qualities like cherry and dried apricot.