Elijah Craig 23-Year "Exceptional"

Elijah Craig 23-Year Old


Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the country’s largest independent family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer, announced a new limited edition release of Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Heaven Hill, who holds the world’s second largest inventory of Bourbon and the most “extra-aged” barrels of any distillery in its rickhouses, began shipping the rarity into selected markets across the country in mid-August and it will hit retail shelves in August and September.

The new bottling follows up on the success of the sold-out Elijah Craig 20-Year-Old Single Barrel, released in the Spring of 2012 and named “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate magazine, and the Elijah Craig 21- Year-Old, released last Fall and designated “Excellent/Highly Recommended“ at the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. 

The new 23-Year-Old bottling will carry an average retail price of $199.99 for the 750ml size, and like last year’s 21-Year-Old will be in limited distribution in top metro markets.  The Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old Single Barrel shares much of its packaging with its predecessor, including the familiar flask shaped Elijah Craig Single Barrel 750ml bottle and cork closure with a marbled capsule.  Instead of the blue label of the 21-Year-Old, this year’s 23-Year-Old will have a green label, with the 23 year age statement prominently featured in reverse white and gold type in the center. 

As with all previous editions of Elijah Craig Single Barrel, there will be space on the back label where the specific barrel number and “barreled on” date will be hand written.  The new Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old will be available in a three bottle case of 750ml bottles, at its traditional 90 proof (45% alcohol by volume) strength.

At 23 years of age—quite advanced for a Bourbon, which of course must by law age in a new charred white oak barrel—barrel selection becomes of tantamount importance.  Barrels that age for that long on the highest floors of the rickhouse, where temperature extremes are greatest, can become too woody or tannic. 

The barrels for Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old Single Barrel are drawn from the middle floors of the rickhouses, where the effects of long aging are mitigated by the more moderate temperature fluctuations.  This careful barrel selection, drawn from Heaven Hill’s inventory of over one million aging barrels, means the whiskey offers depth and complexity but still perfectly maintains the delicate balance between barrel and distillate.  

“All of the extra-aged limited edition American Whiskeys we have released, including the previous Elijah Craig Single Barrels as well as our Parker’s Heritage Collection and the Rittenhouse 21, 23 and 25-Year-Old, have quickly sold through to the connoisseur markets,” noted Heaven Hill Senior Brand Manager Susan Wahl. 

“This release, like the 21-Year-Old and 20-Year-Old Single Barrels that preceded it, will take the consumer on a tasting journey of discovery that will motivate them to move up the line, from the more widely available 12-Year-Old Elijah Craig Small Batch, to Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and on through these more aged, rarer bottlings.”

Editor’s Note: I had the pleasure of tasting this product and find it to be exceptional.  Most would believe the 23 years in the barrel would drown this juice with oak flavors.  I found that the oak was present for a short time but did not linger around at the finish, nor dominate the cinnamon and vanilla flavors that were so obvious.  A great special occasion Bourbon. Justin Thompson, Editor-in-Chief The Bourbon Review


2014 Fall Bourbon Releases

>>Buffalo Antique Collection
>>Maker’s Cask Strength
>> Elijah Craig 23-Year Old Single Barrel

>> Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
>> Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon
>> Parker’s Heritage Collection
>> Angel’s Envy Cask Strength>> Jefferson’s The Manhattan Barrel Aged Cocktail
>> Jim Beam Quarter Cask & Harvest
>> Michter’s Toasted Barrel