Elijah Craig Barrel Proof: Batch A119

I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. I’d like to thank Heaven Hill for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. As always, all thoughts are just my opinion and should be taken as just that.

Like many people, the folks I bought my house from did a lot of last-minute cosmetic changes to help their house sell faster. They put in new carpet in the living room, new linoleum in the kitchen, and slapped a quick coat of paint on all the walls. Sometimes drastically changing the color in the process. 

As an aside, I’ve never understood this approach. If I’m going through all the cost and trouble to update the look of my house, I’m going to do it while I still have time to enjoy it. This is why most of the rooms in my house have been painted. Some of them multiple times.  

But I’ve been in my house for over a decade now and in that time I’ve always had dogs. That previously new carpet is starting to show a bit more wear and tear than my wife would like. And as these things often go, replacing the carpet means all new flooring in the main parts of the house. And of course, since the flooring is changing, it would probably be a good idea to get someone to paint the ceiling before the new floor is installed. And while we have everything out of the room for the ceiling painting, we might as well paint those walls while we are at it. 

Or so she has told me. To be honest, I’m ok with all of it. The ceiling has needed to be painted since we moved in. The previous owners put on the thinnest coat the could to cover the discoloration of age. And it didn’t cover that well. Same with the walls in that room. It looks fine if you are a guest, but after a while of living with it, it’s all you can see. I’m not looking forward to doing all the work, but when it is done I’ll be happy. It isn’t going to change a ton and it may not be noticeable to someone who just sees it occasionally, but it will be different enough to those of us who live with it every day. 

Kind of like tonight’s bourbon. If you just buy it occasionally, and you only have one bottle open at a time, you may not notice the batch variation that occurs from batch to batch. To be honest, I never really did either until last August when I received a sample of Batch C918 while I also had a bottle of Batch B518 open on my shelf. It was astonishing to me how one batch was almost dessert sweet while the other showed off oaky leather notes. 

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof: Batch A119

Purchase Info: This sample was graciously provided by Heaven Hill.  

Details: 12-year age stated. 67.6% ABV. Batch A119

Nose: Vanilla, oak, candle wax, caramel, and cinnamon. 

Mouth: Sweet and hot with a great thick mouthfeel. Classic bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla along with oak and nutmeg. 

Finish: Long and spicy with lingering cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel.


Thoughts: It goes without saying that this is delicious and if I see a bottle of this batch on the shelf, that bottle will be coming home with me. Based on my recollection of the last batch, this is almost as sweet but is spicier. In any case, Heaven Hill hit it out of the park again. This is really good.

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