This is the third and final release of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof for 2021, coded C921. Let’s dive in one last time to the lineup before the New Year arrives and see what the folks at Heaven Hill have in store for us.
As with most ECBP releases, things start out on the hot side with this 12 year old bourbon. The nose is peppery and fiery, though there’s a ton of fruit in the mix to temper things, running to cherries, spiced strawberry, and orange peel. Some chocolate tempers the palate further, though again it offers a bright fruitiness that bursts through its more savory elements — a classic barrel char and clove note that both linger in the background, informing the finish with lingering spice — plus more hints of plummy stone fruit.
Much of this character is iconic to the Elijah Craig profile, and here everything pops right on cue. If you’re not already a fan, C921 probably won’t change your mind about the line. Those who are onboard will find this a wholly credible alternative to more prized bottlings like the delightful A121 which hit earlier this year (and which is now tough to find). I like this one almost as much.