Distilleries | Elijah Craig | Finished | Heaven Hill Distillery | Review

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Review

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Nov 26, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel will be a permanent addition to the Elijah Craig family of bourbons and will be released annually. Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel’s release date was September 2020. Many people as asking, “Is Elijah Craig toasted barrel a limited release?” Yes, it was an allocated release in its first year. But not limited in the sense that it won’t be released again. Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel’s cost should be around $49.99 a bottle — so average for a bourbon receiving a secondary finish.

Here’s what Heaven Hill has to say,

The process begins with fully matured Small Batch, which is dumped and then re-entered at barrel proof into a second, custom toasted new oak barrel designed in partnership with Independent Stave Company. Made with 18-month air-dried oak, the finishing barrel is first toasted and then flash-charred using a moderate toast temperature and toast time.

An extensive research and development process resulted in a final barrel toast profile bringing forward dark sugar flavors within the wood to create a balance of smokiness and sweetness after months of finishing. The resulting taste is big, rich, and complex with spice and pepper notes that fade into milk chocolate with a hint of smoke as the finish lingers with chocolate and baking spices. Only charred new American oak barrels are used throughout the process to maintain the standards of identity class and type designation for Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

“Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel pays homage to our namesake’s pioneering spirit as the first to char oak barrels through thoughtful innovation in the barrel-aging process,” said Max Stefka, Elijah Craig Senior Brand Manager. “It was a pleasure partnering with Independent Stave Company to create a custom toast profile and char level designed to best complement fully matured Elijah Craig. Twice barreled for nuanced flavor, Toasted Barrel showcases a Straight Bourbon process unique in the marketplace.”

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 Toasted Barrel (2020) Review

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel green

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Review
Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel ReviewDetails
Mashbill78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, and 10% Rye
In the Bottle94 Proof
ABV47%
AgeNAS
Release TypeSecond Barrel: 18-month air dried oak then flash charred
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$50
DistilleryHeaven Hill Distillery
Bardstown, KY
ProsFlavor Profile Is Complex and Interesting
ConsBitterness During Finish
RatingSilver 87 Points
InventoryMid-Level Splurge, Buy a Few to Share

Glass

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel provides a thin coat on my Glencairn whiskey glass. Its color is dark amber.

Nose Dive – 87 Points

I get black licorice, deeply fire-roasted marshmallow, some muted fruit sweetness, then I taste the charred wood.

Taste – 89 Points

The first sip I got a ton of sweetness when it hit my palate — typical bourbon profile. That dissipated quickly then I tasted a light smokiness, bitter coffee with vanilla cream, dried leather, and pepper. Rich dark chocolate comes to play as well. The flavor profile reminded me of a delicious, rich s’more with a perfectly charred marshmallow and melted dark chocolate.

Finish – 85 Points

Long, bitter, and peppery—but in the best possible way. I also get balanced notes of tobacco, chocolate, and jalapenos.

Verdict – Silver 87 out of 100 Points

The Bard Silver 300px

I love a toasted barrel finish but a lot of the murmur I was hearing was that it was hot and smokey. I’m not a huge fan of smoke flavors a la High West Campfire. But I found this enjoyable. Sniffed and drank out of Glencairn whiskey glass than with a small splash of water. My last glass was on the rocks.  I recommend trying all three variations, especially with this particular toasted barrel finish. With a little water, some of the spice mellows, and the sweet notes come forward. With a slow melting rocks glass, it was the perfect companion to a robust cigar on a cold fall night.

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.

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