Elijah Craig Bourbon 23 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
45% ABV / 90 Proof. Elijah Craig 23 year old bourbon is one of the oldest whiskeys that Heaven Hill has released under the Elijah Craig brand (although they’ve previously released a 25 year old under the Rittenhouse brand, as well as a 27 year old bourbon under the Parker’s Heritage Collection line). This release is two years older than last year’s release. Since it’s a single barrel product, taste, character, and flavor notes may vary from barrel to barrel, but we’re confident that Heaven Hill has selected a range of casks with similar character (our bottle comes from barrel number 45 which was barreled on 11/22/89).
Deep amber in color, this whiskey is consistent in color with the extreme age of this whiskey. Oak is definitely the lead aroma out of the glass and it reads as dusty old oak with a touch of varnish. On the nose, Elijah Craig 23 Year Old isn’t just an oak bomb: beyond the oak there’s cinnamon, shortbread cookie, marzipan, and dried orange peel. On the entry, this whiskey also has a little more to offer beyond oak with vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon. The oak spice does ramp up pretty quickly, though, and by the time we get to the midpalate, it’s become undeniably strong oak. As with the nose, the midpalate features some counterpoint flavors which try desperately to balance out the oak, including clove, coconut, caramel, dark cherry, and orange peel, but you really have to break through the strong oak to get to them. The finish for Elijah Craig 23 Year Old whiskey is slightly long and oaky with a touch of heat and touch of dark chocolate. It’s not as dry as you’d expect with all this age, but it’s oaky and deeply tannic.