Elijah Craig 20 Years Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This is one of the older bourbons currently available on the market. While Elijah Craig 20 Year Old Single Barrel has spent a considerable amount of time in a barrel for an American Whiskey, the nose smells less of oak than it does of cinnamon, caramel, and almonds. There’s a sweet and slightly heavy quality to the nose without being overwhelming. The entry is bold with exceptional oak flavors. There’s no question from the beginning that this whiskey has really gotten to know the oak barrel it’s been aged in, and its character is defined by that barrel. After the initial impact of the heavy oak opening, the whiskey does open up with nice deep caramel, cinnamon, chocolate, and tobacco. There’s a symphony of oak spice here that is so well defined that it feels like you are tasting through the different layers of the wood. The mouth feel is slightly heavy with a medium oily character but overall it’s exquisite. The finish is all about the oak which lingers for a very long time on the palate.
Older whiskey isn’t always better whiskey, but the Elijah Craig 20 year Old Single Barrel is a fascinating riff on aging. It manages to present an intense amount of oak without completely losing its balance and eclipsing the other flavors of the whiskey. While oak notes do dominate the taste of this whiskey, it’s not the whole story. Elijah Craig 20 Year Old Single Barrel manages to be an exceptionally enjoyable whiskey that really draws you in and invites you to explore the layers of oak within.