Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A124 (January 2024)

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A124 (January 2024)

Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig Barrel Proof machine is rolling for 2024, and we’re off to a curious start: A124 is one of the youngest releases in the series, at 10 years, 9 months old — and one of the lowest in proof, at just 59.5% alcohol. That’s still toasty, but considering some ECBP releases have hit over 66% abv, it comparatively feels like it should come in a juice box.

Much to my surprise, right out of the gate, this is tough stuff. The nose is heavy, weighted down by notes of well-roasted meat, saddle leather, and some camphor. In time, the aroma lightens up to reveal dried flowers and a hint of blackberry — but it’s all sealed up and more than a bit scattered.

While some of that black fruit drops onto the tongue for a bit, the palate bites back quickly with notes of black pepper and plenty of green onion, then bold barrel char and beef jerky notes. It’s quite astringent, but not without some level of rustic charm. As the whiskey develops in glass, a stronger green herbal note comes into focus, with light layers of caramel tempering the experience. Thyme is particularly notable toward the finish, with ample layers of drying oak coming on strong and really sucking all the moisture out of your palate. Have ample water on hand as a chaser.

At first blush I really didn’t care for A124 at all, but after a second viewing I warmed up to it a bit more, finding a through-line of sweetness that helped pull it together a bit more effectively. Still, my palate feels like it’s been rubbed with sandpaper and left out in the sun.

119 proof.

B / $85 / elijahcraig.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM FROOTBAT] [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE] [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A124 (January 2024)

$85
8

Rating

8.0/10

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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