Tuesday 17 September 2013

Bourbon Derby: 19 Days Off: Elijah Craig 12yr

As the days approach, I find myself again more and more used to the whiskey I'm drinking, and with less insight to add. Hopefully that will change soon! That said, I'm also afraid I'm blowing my wad here a bit -- I have only a few more opened whiskeys on my shelf matching the ones available at the Derby, which means I'm going to have to start cracking open new bottles. What a shame, eh?

Elijah Craig tastes a bit like demarara syrup or honey, particularly on the finish. There is a slight off note on the finish, a charcoal bittersweetness, balanced by some of the tastiest rye finish I've had. The whole whiskey is a bit corn-y, with a slightly thin ethanol smell. The demerara makes me really like it, but the heat and bitterness finish makes me unsatisfied. I still go by my general assessment that it is a really good introductory whiskey, particularly to the complexities of rye. I think the other flavor note I get is often described as eucalyptus -- spicy and evergreen smelling. That said, that's the flavor I get from a lot of Heaven Hill offerings, so I might just be expecting it. I used to be able to pick it out in blind testings; nowadays I'm not so sure my palate is calibrated well enough.

I'm glad the LCBO gets at least EC12. Heaven Hill is a really underrated distillery (for the second-or-third biggest distillery in Kentucky, that seems kind of silly), and I'm kind of sad that we don't have Evan Williams available, preferably at around the same price as Jim Beam. (That said, I am extremely glad we have access to Four Roses Yellow!)

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