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Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Nose: This has a classic bourbon smell leaning toward the cinnamon side. It also has a light and very interesting dark red wine scent. Palate: The first sip delivers a quick tingle to the tongue which then turns into a reasonable amount of heat that lasts well past the finish. It is one of those where you feel the warmth traveling down your throat and into your stomach. On the second sip, however, the tongue tingle is reduced and the heat doesn’t seem as intense. The mouth feel is a nice medium and slightly chewy one. This is a nice example of your typical caramel/vanilla classic bourbon taste. It isn’t super complex, but that’s not terribly surprising because it is at the $30 range. In later sips, I got some nuttiness (not quite peanut, but close), a little bit of oak and caramel and vanilla that still dominate. On the last sips, I got a little bit of spiciness, but it didn’t really come across as a heavy rye spice….so maybe it was the elusive “baking spices” that people always talk about (and which I still don’t know if I’d recognize if it slapped me in the face). Or not…. Comments: I have several bottles of Elijah Craig where the barrels were picked by several different liquor stores. Sometimes I get to taste before buying, but in some stores, I trust the folks doing to the picking to pick a good barrel. This particular barrel pick comes from a liquor store that is a bit of a drive from the Flying Aces, so I only stop there if I happen to be driving nearby. Their bourbon selection is pretty decent and they have a display case up front with allocated and other hard to find stuff. For the most part, they either don’t mark them up or only do so by a reasonable amount. I’ve had several of their barrel picks and they always succeed in picking good barrels, so I’ll always get something like this or a Four Roses if they have it, even if I can’t taste it. If I taste it and really like it, I might buy multiple bottles because they sell quickly. Bottom line…..if you find a liquor store where whoever makes barrel picks does a good job, maybe you should trust them (until proven otherwise) if you can’t taste before you buy. I like Elijah Craig because I’ve never had a bad one. That said, it isn’t my first choice in the same price point. And, that’s OK…..they can’t ALL be at the top of the list! Just as an FYI, I REALLY like the Elijah Craig 18 year old, which I do not have here in the Flying Aces but which I’ve tasted “out on the town”. I also have a barrel strength EC that I have not cracked open yet. Stay tuned…… This bottle clocks in at 94 proof, is likely to be around 8 years old and has a probable mashbill of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley.

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