Elijah Craig | Best Bourbons | Heaven Hill Distillery | Review

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Review [2021]

Dec 9, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Elijah Craig small batch bourbon boasts perfectly balanced sweet, oak, and baking spice — its small batch bourbon at its best (even though some might argue with the small designation, more on that in a minute). The origins of this bourbon is shrouded in some mystery as it was named after an 18th-century preacher, entrepreneur, and factory owner, Reverend Elijah Craig. Heaven Hill boldly proclaims him as the father of bourbon.

As the legend goes, a fire broke out at Craig’s distillery and charred the oak barrels he used to transfer his whiskey and he decided to use them anyway. And wouldn’t you know the charred barrel made the whiskey taste better. Elijah Craig is a blend of 200 barrels or less to achieve that signature flavor we all love. Small batch isn’t a regulated term, so it is up to the distillery to determine what that means for their brand.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Review

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch
Elijah Craig Small BatchDetails
Off the Still137 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle94 Proof
ABV47%
Mashbill75% Corn, 13% Rye & 12% Malted Barley
Char Level#3 Barrel Char
Distilled and AgedBardstown, KY
Age8 to 12-years-old
StyleSmall Batch, Non-Chill Filtered
Size750 mL to 1.75 mL
Suggested MSRP$30 to $50
DistilleryHeaven Hill Distillery
Bardstown, KY
ProsPerfectly Balanced
ConsMaybe a bit oaky for beginners
AvailabilityAvailable to Buy Online
RatingSilver 🥈 86 out of 100 points
InventoryKeep Stocked
Buy OnlineElijah Craig's Website

Heaven Hill describes Elijah Craig as,

“The award-winning Bourbon that started it all. Our signature Small Batch owes its distinctive warm spice & subtle smoke flavor to Level 3 charred oak barrels”

Awards

  • Best Small Batch – San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2018
  • Double Gold – San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2018
  • 93 Points, Tried & True Award Tried & True Award, Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2020
  • 86 Points, The Bourbon Bard Silver, 2020

Elijah Craig offers medium viscosity with thin legs. It’s a light copper in the glass.

Nose Dive – 87 out of 100 points

Elijah Craig offers rich, complex baking spice notes of cinnamon, subtle clove, and ginger. Layered rock fruit sweetness and apples stewed down in cinnamon round out the palate.

Taste – 85 out of 100 points

The front of the palate reminds me of mixing packs of peach oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal. Elijah Craig also offers some barrel char vanilla sweetness and toasted oak with black pepper on the back of the palate.

Finish – 85 out of 100 points

The finish medium with charred oak, vanilla, pepper, and just a pop of tart apple.

Verdict – Silver 86 out of 100 points

The Bard Silver 300px

What more is there to say about Elijah Craig small batch bourbon? It should be a bourbon cabinet staple. It’s versatile with the fruit notes lending themselves to summer drinking and the spice coming through for colder winter nights. It works great with a bold cigar and can hold its own in a cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Elijah Craig Small Batch Age Stated_1

Is Elijah Craig a good bourbon?

Yes, Elijah Craig is a good bourbon. It’s won several prestigious awards for best small batch bourbon, we ranked Elijah Craig Small Batch a solid 86 points (silver).

What does Elijah Craig taste like?

Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon batched with 200 barrels or less and offers notes of sweet rock fruit and apples balanced with bold baking spices.

What mixes well with Elijah Craig?

Elijah Craig stands up to anything because of its big bold mixers. Mix it with coke. Mix it with ginger ale. Mix it in coffee.

How long is Elijah Craig bourbon aged?

Elijah Craig small batch was a 12-year-old age stated bourbon from 1986 to 2016 when the age statement was removed, the bottle was redesigned (see old bottle design above), and it became a blend of 8 to 12-year-old bourbons.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Elijah Craig Single Barrel Beverage Superstore Pick

Elijah Craig Single Barrel Beverage Superstore

Elijah Craig Small Batch is a staple for my collection. It’s a solid drinker, at a great price, and pairs great with a variety of cigars. For my palate, it’s a summer bourbon because of the rich fruit notes that often pop.

This particular pick comes from one of my fav stops in GA. They consistently pick solid bourbons and whiskeys. This EC pick is thick and oily.

Nose

Fresh summer fruit. Tart Granny Smith apples and strawberries. Heavy whipped cream with lemon zest. Subtle oak.

Taste

Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream and tart apples dance on the front of the palate but are quickly moved off center stage when the oak enters mid-palate. It warms the entire mouth and brings along subtle leather notes.

It moves from fresh and crisp to oaky fast.

Finish

The finish is an oak tree’s love child. It’s full-flavored, robust, and complex.

Verdict – Silver 87 out of 100 Points

The Bard Silver 300px

This barrel pick is a perfect pick for people who love oak. It’s not naked oak but balanced within a bouquet of fruit flavors. That marriage of oak and sweetness is a hallmark of Elijah Craig.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Bourbon Bard, PO Box 1501, Taylors, SC 29687, http://www.thebourbonbard.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Emails are sent by MailChimp.

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