Store Picks: Elijah Craig SB; Toddy's Liquor Store, Bardstown Ky

Pick Information - This offering was chosen by the legend himself, Guthrie, owner of Toddy’s Liquor Store in Bardstown, Ky.  As always, Guthrie selected this barrel personally at the Heaven Hill distillery. This pick a between 8-9 years old.

Color –  Typical gold and amber color.  Not exceedingly dark.

Nose – Vanilla with some slight alcohol to it. Not much past that on the first nosing.  A cap of limestone water opens up the caramel notes considerably.

Palate – Light mouthfeel.  Very smooth, no burn. Very light caramel flavor.  The cap of limestone water opens up the caramel and oak flavors at a second sip.

Finish -  The finish for me was short and smooth. You get a slight sweetness on the finish but overall there is nothing that stands out.

Wallet – Elijah Craig store picks are usually in the $29.99 - $32.99 range.  Toddy’s has a history of being fond of their barrel picks (and rightfully so in most cases) and this offering was $34.99.  Decent price value for the whiskey inside.


Head to Head - In a head to head comparison to regular Elijah Craig Small Batch, I find the Toddy’s pick to have an overall smoothness about it that the regular offering doesn’t without some significant time breathing.  


Bourbon Wes says I preface this summary with the following:  In general, since Heaven Hill dropped the 12-year age statement, Elijah Craig Small Batch has been lacking in flavor and robustness. My palate says those 3-4 years of aging loss are evident in the current small batch offering.  I would consider this a gateway store pick for a person new to bourbon who wants to have something different on his or her bar that does not break the bank. Most experienced drinkers will not find this pick exciting.


Rating (tasting notes + price point + uniqueness)I would rate this store pick a 5 out of 10.



Wes Hardin


You can find me on Instagram @bourbon_wes and Twitter @BourbonWes


Store picks and barrel selections are popping up at liquor stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, and bourbon clubs and we would love to review your barrel selections in this column.  If you have a sample you would like me to review here, please shoot me a message on Instagram @bourbon_wes or email me at  


Ratings System:  

 1-2 – Would not suggest to anyone.  Literally not drinkable neat.

          3-5  - Solid pour but not considered special. Would not purchase second bottle

         6-8  - Excellent pour.  Robust, interesting, and different compared to regular offering.

         9-10 -  Outstanding. Hunt for multiple bottles.  On par with allocated releases.