David OG has been very busy tasting through the 50+ barrel samples Heaven Hill sent us, so he hasn't had much time to blog lately. Thankfully, he found some real winners before the boys in Bardstown decided to shut down their single barrel program. With the new demand for cask strength Elijah Craig, their depletion rate of mature casks is rapidly increasing. That means no more single barrels for retailers like us, but hopefully more EC barrel strength for consumers like you. Enjoy these while they last!
Check out David OG's notes below:
Elijah Craig 12 year old Single Barrel K&L Exclusive #8446 - $26.99 - This is the smallest barrel in the batch turning out only 10 cases. This was ultra concentrated and powerful at full strength, but at this proof the typical mellow maple quality of EC12 is superseded by powerful exotic wood, caramel corn and Asian spices. Heady and complex, yet it goes down extremely easily. The woodiness on the nose does not become astringent on the palate and in fact it retains a wonderful freshness all the way through the finish. Oak is not the driver on the palate at all. There's a surprising lack of pepper or heat instead softness abounds. At the front, we get candied fruits (maybe plum or even apricots), this goes totally rancio on the end, full on sandalwood, fresh coffee beans, and a long pleasing culmination that stays very balanced all the way through.
Elijah Craig 12 year old Single Barrel K&L Exclusive #8434 - $26.99 - This cask turned out a reasonable 15 cases. It’s a wonderful contrast to cask #8446 and showing quite a different profile. Here we have all that vanilla that you’d expect, but it’s not artificial at all. It feels as though you’d just grated fresh Tahitian vanilla bean into a bowl of Seville orange peels. This gives way to a lovely savory oak spice, which has a definite underbrush note. We’re walking in the forest now. The savory forest notes almost gives a sense of salinity, which translates well on the palate. Salt water taffy and more oak spice. This has that pepper we missed in #8446. It’s quite a bit drier as well, but the oak does not become harsh or bitter, it’s rather warming and inviting.
Elijah Craig 12 year old Single Barrel K&L Exclusive #2387 -$26.99 - This cask contained twice as much whiskey as #8446 (20 cases) and as expected it couldn't be more different. This is definitely going to be very familiar to some readers, but it's totally outside the flavor range of the other casks. Here we've got incredible freshness with aromas of spiced apple, subtle nuttiness, red apple skin, dried herbs, and a hint of maple syrup. Texturally, this is surprisingly rich considering it was the largest cask, which logically means it's less concentrated, but apparently not. On the palate it's definitely the most feisty of the three casks in this lot, showing strong oak spice, which dry the maple syrup quality on the front palate nicely. This has the longest finish of the three and moves into the fresh tobacco flavors with a building spice (cinnamon, clove, etc.) character. Crazy contrast between the relatively restrained nose and the powerful attack in the mouth.
Elijah Craig 12 year old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #111 - $25.99 - Well there it is. Four wonderfully different little barrels. The last four casks of ECSB should be trickling out of Bardstown in the next few months, but these won’t last that long so don’t think too hard about this. We just picked out new Four Roses plus working on getting more of all that hard to get Orphan Barrel. Other things in the works, but that’s all for now. Have a great week everyone!