Rounding out our flavor and tasting travels with Bourbons the past few episodes, we with our final sample from the pack we received from Flaviar. Today we tasted Elijah Craig's Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Bardstown Whiskey Society has been working together aging this Bourbon for the past 12-years. So it's been waiting a bit for us to sample it, so we were curious as to what the Ol' Reverend Whiskey Maker has in-store for us. With a 47% ABV and sitting at 94 Proof, there is a strong charred oak presence with this one.
Filling our glasses, there is apparent lighter color to this Bourbon. The tone is closer to perhaps what you might find with a darker bourbon and some water added to dilute the color values, but it does have a nice amber color. Even a closer resemblance would be if you were to cook-down sugar in the raw.
After the pour and giving our classes a sniff, we are met with just a gentle aroma. Nothing too strong, but not at all weak, but it does have a corn alcohol smell which is very pronounced. There is a flowery sense of honeysuckle trees and vanilla. More sweet than strong, with very little smokiness, which we were expecting.
With the first wash, this Bourbon has a sweetness that is reminiscent of toffee and caramelized sugar, but there is a lacking of some of the appreciated smokey flavors of other Bourbons we've sampled. A heavier malt taste brings out a flavor or a light stout beer. There is a pronounced rye sourness at the back of the tongue and the Ethanol/corn alcohol flavor does come out like in the nose.
There is a more Deep and rich in structure, rye, malty fruitiness and a touch of spearmint.
The Finish and Linger
Overall, there is a consistent finish and linger that places itself with the aroma and taste. With a quick aeration we get a persistence of sweet flavor of the sugar, which results in a final smoky note and hint of vanilla and corn husk.
Tanner's score: 76
Josh's score: 80
LMAW Grade: 78
2014 - Gold Medal - at WSWA Spirits Tasting Competition