Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B524 (May 2024) and Small Batch PGA Edition

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B524 (May 2024) and Small Batch PGA Edition

Elijah Craig isn’t sleeping this summer, with two new expressions hitting the market in quick succession. The first is the expected May edition of its Barrel Proof lineup, the other a second golf-inspired limited release that follows up on its recent Ryder Cup edition.

Full details and tasting notes follow.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B524 (May 2024) – After a quieter expression in A124, it’s back to the burn with a 65.3% abv release of ECBP, aged 11 years, 2 months old — so both relatively scorching and also relatively youthful. Lots of intensity on the nose here: espresso, oiled leather, bbq burnt ends, and smoldering wood on the campfire. These Barrel Proof releases can often be powerhouses, but B524’s aromatics push things to some savory heights for the series. Oddly enough, the palate has a big shift in store: On the tongue the whiskey is sweeter and much more forgiving, with ripe banana and brown sugar paving the way for notes of caramel sauce over sweet cream custard. The fruit theme continues with elements of maraschino cherry followed by walnuts. Before you know it, we’ve got a whole banana split working here — though the nose always seems a little out of whack in comparison. While spicy and quite warm on the finish, the explosion of fruit helps to temper the whiskey’s innate heat and offers a seasonally friendly flavor profile that works well both as a solo sipper or in an Old Fashioned or even a punchy whiskey sour. 130.6 proof. A- / $85 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM FROOTBAT] [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE] [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

Elijah Craig Small Batch 2024 PGA Championship Edition – Now this is what I call a gimmick: This limited release was made with barrels from rickhouse P (25%), 1G (61%) and A (14%). P-G-A. Get it? You got it! That’s the catch, so let’s see where it takes us. Slightly grassy on the nose — intentional? — with a stronger spice bill than usual, predominantly featuring cloves and powdered ginger. Soothing brown sugar notes open up with some airtime, but it takes a while to get there. The palate is warming but not hot, offering an immediate slug of bright cherry fruit, backed up by plenty of wood. Black pepper come into focus in time, giving the brown sugar notes at the core of the spirit some oomph. More toasty oak on the finish, followed finally by a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter and a touch more clove. Well-rounded but not overwhelmingly complex, this is a fine, versatile bourbon at a surprisingly affordable price — gimmick or no. 94 proof. A- / $37

Elijah Craig Small Batch 2024 PGA Championship Edition




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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