Elijah Craig Small Batch Store Pick Review

Elijah Craig Small Batch
Elijah Craig Small Batch

Our very first member review here at Flight Club ICT was a Heaven Hill horizontal review of Evan Williams, Henry McKenna and Elijah Craig single barrel/small batch offerings.

Today, we revisit that review with a newly acquired Store Pick offering — a single barrel, 11-year Elijah Craig bourbon.  We thought it would be helpful to see how that bottle, along with a newly acquired Non Age Stated (NAS) bottle, stacks up.

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Barrel Proof Bourbon Showdown – Round 1

A multi-part series of barrel proof bourbons.  Because how many can you really try at one time?

First up, offerings from Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and Heaven Hill.  All will be sampled just as they leave the bottle – without any water or ice intervention.

Stagg Jr.
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Heaven Hill: Single Barrel and Small Batch Head-to-Head

Heaven Hill
Heaven Hill

For some odd reason, Heaven Hill has always been one of those distilleries that I subconsciously discount and thus largely ignore.  Why? I’m not exactly sure.  Maybe because I’ve never viewed them as “top shelf” like some of the other distilleries (save Parker’s Heritage, which I’ve never seen on a shelf)?  Just maybe I ignore the quality mid-shelf products that I historically love (Pikesville Rye is outstanding, Larceny (wheated) is delicious and I’ve always been a fan of Elijah Craig 12-year), and only consider Heaven Hill to be “bottom shelf”?

The “Evan Williams” and “Henry McKenna” names have never been much of an interests to me.   Until now.

A few weeks ago, I again read through the mash bill breakdown on www.bourbonr.com.  It’s a great read, and it coincided with the purchase of a bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (which has to rank in my all-time top-10 bourbons).  These series of events got me realizing that Heaven Hill does produce some top-notch bourbons, and deserves some much needed attention.

After a bit of research, I decided to focus on small batch and single barrel bourbon offerings from Elijah Craig, Henry Mckenna and Evan Williams.  So I picked up a few new bottles, including a No Age Statement Elijah Craig, the Henry McKenna 10 year, and two varieties of Evan Williams.  I’ve intentionally excluded anything barrel-proof, as those tend to be a different animal in my opinion.

This past weekend, I’ve gave them all a whirl in effort to decide whether I could enjoy the lineup, and whether I could discern any differences in five small batch/single barrel bourbons that all originate from same mash bill and only span roughly 4 years of time (excluding the Evan Williams 1783, which I believe is a bit younger).

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