Review No.247. Elijah Craig Small Batch

Review No.247. Elijah Craig Small Batch

It has been way too long since I had a whisky from Elijah Craig.  I reviewed the 12 year old bottle a while ago and loved it.  Unfortunately I wish I had the foresight to see what was coming and now you will struggle to find a bottle, if you do then expect to pay £60 or more instead of the £35 it used to be.  Wish I stockpiled the stuff.  Anyway, the Small Batch is the replacement for the 12 year old and is bottled at the same strength of 47% and I believe is pretty much the same recipe but with some younger whiskey in the mix due to low stocks of the older stuff.  I picked this up at duty free in New York but over here you can get it online for about £45 which is disappointing to see.  If this is meant to be the replacement but with younger whisky in it then I don’t understand how a price increase like this can be justified. This trend has been going on for a few years but has only recently become more noticeable to me because it has happened to a few of my favourites from Arran and Balblair which has really annoyed me.  Anyway I will save that rant for another time.


Whisky: Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 47% vol.

Nose: Vanilla fudge, cherry bakewell, baked cake, stewed apples, potpourri, pecan nuts, leather polish

Taste: Butterscotch, honey, vanilla, maple syrup, mocha, cloves

Finish: Buttery and floral, vanilla, fudge

Score: 3.5

Summary: It has been a while since I tried the 12 year old but this feels more like a new bourbon rather than a replacement for the 12.  I remember the 12 having more of those mature flavours of leather and spice whereas these elements are not as present but rather dominated more with buttery and floral notes – which work in nice harmony.  The nice thing about this is that the oak dominate.  This reminds me of Eagle Rare 10 but doesn’t quite surpass it.  I can’t envisage any bourbon beating the Eagle Rare 10 in terms of cost to quality. Anyway, I probably would have given this a slightly higher score but in light of the price increase and it not quite hitting the spot that the 12 year old I am left feeling disappointed.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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