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Friday, June 2, 2017

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Elijah Craig 12-year Barrel Proof Batch B517

The original 2013 white-label/red-12 Elijah Craig 12-year Barrel Proof (129.7 proof) has been my standard-bearer for all subsequent EC12BPs.  Some of those that followed nearly matched it, some packed too much heat, and none of them really surpassed it.  My first taste of Heaven Hill’s May 2017 batch (“B” for the second batch of the year, “5” for the month, and “17” for the year) might have provided a new standard.

Bourbon:
Elijah Craig 12-year Barrel Proof Batch B517

Distillery:
Heaven Hill, Bardstown and Louisville, Kentucky

Age:
12 years

ABV:
62.1% (124.2 proof)

Cost:
$65.00-ish

Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly sent me a sample
for this review, without any strings attached. 
Thank you.

Tasting Notes

Appearance:
Brown side of amber with a red hue showing its age.

Nose:
The aromas are simple, leading with oak, and balanced with green tea, cocoa, butterscotch, praline, baking spice, and a hint of tropical fruit.

Taste:
The palate is where this Elijah Craig Barrel Proof shines, causing me to utter an audible “WOW” when I tried it.  There’s a huge blast of flavors beyond the standard caramel; there’s also brown sugar and honey on the sweet side, balanced by earthiness, tobacco, black pepper, and oaky notes with a cinnamon kick, for a fantastic experience.

Finish:
The long finish has a great swell and gentle fade with rye spice and black pepper, but without a discernable gear shifting of some finishes.

Bottom Line

From the first sip to the end of the finish, this Elijah Craig batch is a remarkable Bourbon, approaching that 2013 white label.  It should be on the shelves now, but it won’t be for long, so don’t delay.

Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  4.0

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.

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