Review: Elijah Craig 18 Year Single Barrel

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Company: The Elijah Craig Distillery Co.

Distillery: Heaven Hill

Availability: Allocated

Proof: 45% ABV (90 proof)

Age: 18 years

Mash Bill: 78% corn, 10% rye, 12% malted barley

Color: Deep amber, almost like honey

MSRP: $130 (+/-)

Secondary Market Value: $180 (+/-)

Nose: 31

Oak and caramel bomb. Aged 18 years, there are strong notes of oak, caramel, and vanilla that give way to some softer leather and tobacco at the end.

Palate: 30

What Elijah Craig 18 lacks in proof, it more than makes up for in complexity of flavors. Yes, being aged for 18 years does mean this is heavily oaked. I love the oak on this offering as it has so much more going on than just wood spice. I love the vanilla and caramel that counteract the bitterness of the oak. There’s also cinnamon spice and hints of mint on the back of my tongue.

Finish: 29

EC 18 is thick and oily with a long finish. I was left with brown sugar and vanilla sweetness that begged me to pour another glass.

Value: Pricey but a very solid pour

Final Report: 90

I’ve been holding onto this bottle for some time after finding it in the wild last year. I decided to crack it for the review, but I really wanted to let it get some air as NCAA tournament time comes and I think I’ll have a lot to celebrate this year. Now on to the bourbon…

EC 18 is elegant and sophisticated. The look and feel of the bottle helps it stand out on the shelf, assuming it ever gets there, and is an excellent addition to anyone’s collection. The bold flavors of EC 18 stand and make this an extremely exciting bottle to have in my collection. Back in the day, this was an easily accessible bottle that could be found sitting next to it’s younger brother on the shelf; however, given the bourbon climate today, if you can find a bottle for $150ish it’s worth picking up. I personally found this for $129 and I couldn’t pass it up. Word of warning, if you don’t like a bold oak flavors, pass on this one. Heaven Hill produces other variations of Elijah Craig like the 12 year age stated barrel proof offerings that come out quarterly each year. Standard offering Elijah Craig is a great every day drinker that also comes in single barrel store picks that deviate from barrel to barrel. I really enjoy the entire lineup of Elijah Craig products, though I have not had anything older than the EC 18.

Blake Johnson


Jordan GrigsbyComment