I’m back from vacation and found some time to stop by LeNell’s to pick up the next couple subjects for this blog of mine.
This week, I tried the Elijah Craig Single Barrel. ECSB is one of those bourbons that could go either way. On the one hand, its placement in the higher end of the market implies (and hopefully demands) a certain level of quality, but at the same time when bourbons get up to 18 years that can sometimes be to much wood. No on wants to feel like they’re chewing on the barrel after all.
However it turned out, ECSB will make a fine aesthetic addition to any bourbon shelf. The bottle stands out from the standard dusty-old-man school of design that most bourbons seem to adhere to. Instead ECSB takes a decidedly more feminine approach, more like Four Roses Small Batch. Its smooth curves and slender neck are adorned by swirls of flowers, petals, and vines and the label sports a baby-blue, gold, and white color scheme. At the center of it all is the Elijah Craig seal, hanging like a silver pendant on a debutante’s neck (sadly, this seal is made of what seems to be cheap plastic).
All this does seem a little over-done, but that just means it will provide a nice visual counter-weight to the creaking masculinity of the Wellers and Grand-Dads of Old.
To the nose Elijah Craig Single Barrel comes across quite simply and a little off-puttingly. The stark corn and char that make up the dominant features seem out of place in such an old bourbon. Surely these would have been tempered by their time in the oak? I was hoping for something more at this stage.
On tasting, the first sensation is red berries, followed quickly by the sweet corn and char. These mix and provide some heat in the middle, but are followed by a pleasant finish of freshly mowed hay that fades to wet oak – edging very close to the point of over-aged, but not quite getting there.
Elijah Craig Single Barrel is quite smooth with a touch of heat and vigor in the middle. The finish definitely reflects its aging, but does not go too far. It was not as simplistic as I had feared from the scent, it was well balanced over all, and flirting with the boundary of over-agedness.
The finish is a long one. This is a drink to take your time with.
Apologies for the low-quality picture. My usual camera is out of service at the moment.