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American Whiskey Bourbon Rated A- Reviews Whiskey

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B517 (May 2017)

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As we reported in January, Heaven Hill recently revamped the way Elijah Craig Barrel Proof was being presented, and that bottles would now carry a batch ID on each label, the first being A117 in January.

Now the second release of the 12 year old Elijah Craig Barrel Proof for 2017 is here: B517, signifying May 2017. Here’s a look at this offering, compared side by side with the 127-proof A117 release and the original 2013 release of this whiskey.

Though lighter in proof than even the comparatively quiet A117, this is an Elijah Craig release that’s bold and full of flavor. On the nose, the whiskey is immediately redolent of buttered popcorn, tempered with lots of baking spice, dried ginger, barrel char, and butterscotch. The palate follows along in lockstep — though it ultimately shows itself to be a bit more bittersweet than expected, with quite strong and tannic notes of scorched wood on the back of the palate. Water’s a huge friend here, bringing out notes of brown sugar, orange peel, and sweet licorice candy — and going a long way toward taming that bitter, barrel-driven element in the bourbon.

As with earlier expressions of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, this is a cask strength release that benefits from a careful hand, exposure to air, and a healthy amount of water at the ready. Give it a try, no question.

124.2 proof. (Updated photo unfortunately not available.)

A- / $90 / heavenhill.com

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Reviewed Item
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B517 (May 2017)
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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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10 Comments

  1. neandrewthal May 21, 2017

    Holy shit! That Price!

    Reply
    1. Tom Civiletti May 31, 2017

      No kidding. We used to be able to buy 12 year old EC for under $30.

  2. neandrewthal May 21, 2017

    Haha. Just realised the price was the same on the last batch reviewed and I already complained about that. Ignore me!

    Reply
  3. Elmo May 21, 2017

    I thought these aren’t 12 year old anymore?

    Reply
    1. Jeremy May 22, 2017

      They are still 12-year, but the age statement is on the side of the bottle. Also, regarding price, I think MSRP is well under $90, so I’m not sure what the $90 price tag reported here is based on.

    2. Christopher Null May 22, 2017

      $90 is the typical street price — we try to get up to date pricing from winesearcher.com — i.e.: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/elijah+craig+barrel+straight+bourbon+whisky+kentucky+usa

    3. Christopher Null May 23, 2017

      As Jeremy noted, the age statement is now on the back label. For now, it’s still a 12 year old.

  4. Burbndude June 2, 2017

    Yes Tom, we did get EC 12 for under $30; but that was the small batch at 94 proof, not the Barrel Proof that’s reviewed here! The small batch is no longer 12 years old but is NAS.

    Reply
  5. Steer's tookus July 5, 2017

    I picked up a bottle of ECBP B517 at HH in Bardstown last week for $75. Pricey enough!

    Reply
  6. Tight5Todd August 4, 2017

    Just picked one up in Atlanta for $69.

    Reply

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