Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A123 (January 2023)

Like clockwork, it’s time to check in again with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, which recently launched its first release for 2023. This uncut bottling arrives at 62.8% abv, about in line with the last release, C922.

I get a rather beefy note on first blush on the nose, complemented by black pepper and notes of red raspberry. Herbal elements come into focus with time in glass and/or some water, landing eventually on elements of thyme and sage. Give this a good amount of time in glass and notes of chocolate and cinnamon come to the fore; again I end up with a banana split note — caramel, chocolate, and nuts, with a fruity underbelly.

The palate is a touch restrained and a bit peppery, at least compared to C922, letting some barrel char elements through. Black fruit, some burnt caramel, and a stronger vanilla note give the whiskey some power, culminating in a finish that sees the emergence of stronger notes of cinnamon-laced red hots, some sweeter Bit-O-Honey elements, and a final touch of minted butterscotch (if that’s a thing).

Though it never focuses on any particular element, this turns out to be a versatile and worthwhile expression of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof that showcases many of its disparate characteristics over the course of a single glass. Overall: One of the better installments in the series.

125.6 proof.

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