Like clockwork, it’s time to check in again with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, which recently launched its first release for 2023. This uncut bottling arrives at 62.8% abv, about in line with the last release, C922.
I get a rather beefy note on first blush on the nose, complemented by black pepper and notes of red raspberry. Herbal elements come into focus with time in glass and/or some water, landing eventually on elements of thyme and sage. Give this a good amount of time in glass and notes of chocolate and cinnamon come to the fore; again I end up with a banana split note — caramel, chocolate, and nuts, with a fruity underbelly.
The palate is a touch restrained and a bit peppery, at least compared to C922, letting some barrel char elements through. Black fruit, some burnt caramel, and a stronger vanilla note give the whiskey some power, culminating in a finish that sees the emergence of stronger notes of cinnamon-laced red hots, some sweeter Bit-O-Honey elements, and a final touch of minted butterscotch (if that’s a thing).
Though it never focuses on any particular element, this turns out to be a versatile and worthwhile expression of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof that showcases many of its disparate characteristics over the course of a single glass. Overall: One of the better installments in the series.