Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C917

Price: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill

Region: Kentucky

65.5% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% rye, 12% barley

Cask Type: New charred American oak, char level #3

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Starts out with a sort of sour cherry note, oak, tobacco, pepper, brown sugar glaze, almost a savory meat note, allspice

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Oak tannins, vanilla, pepper, leather, brown sugar, glazed ham, fruit, citrus, hints of herbs

Finish: Good warmth and length, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, praline, and earthiness

Thoughts: This is the first ECBP where I’ve picked up such a savory note, there’s a lot less oak, chocolate, and caramel in this, which is sort of what I want out of ECBP, still good bourbon, but probably my least favorite batch I’ve tried to date.

Score: 81 out of 100

Review: Barrell Rye Single Barrel 13-Year Astor Wine & Spirits

Paid: $109 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Barrell

Region: Canada

66.39% ABV

Aged For: 13-Years

Mashbill: 100% rye

Cask Type: Undisclosed, Likely ex-bourbon Cask# L956

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Burnished

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Alcohol whiff with baked bread, oak, cracked pepper, coriander seeds, caramel, vanilla, and herbs

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Rich spice, tobacco, cardamom, oak, pepper, rye, caramel, clove, and touch of mint

Finish: Warm and lasting, with cocoa, peach, anise, caramel, vanilla, oak, pepper, and cedar notes

Thoughts: Lots of rich spices here with an underlying sweetness to balance it out.

Score: 84 out of 100

Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B519

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill

Region: Kentucky

61.1% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, char #3

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a shifter

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, oak, pepper, leather, clove, earthy cocoa powder, and sour apples

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Vanilla, strudel, clove, cinnamon, leather, oak, corn, forest floor, cherry cola

Finish: High warmth and medium length, leathery tannins, oak, spices, tobacco, molasses, vanilla and crushed mint

Thoughts: More earthy than some of the other batches but still bringing the heat and oak.

Score: 84 out of 100

Review: Plantation 2005 Jamaica

Price: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Long Pond & Clarendon / Maison Ferrand

Region: Jamaica

45.2% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 12 Years in Jamaica, 1 Year in France

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, Ferrand Cognac Casks

Additives used: May have up to 0.1% E150a coloring

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a snifter

Nose: Strong, with papaya, kiwi, and pineapple with an estery funky background. Earth, oak, banana, floral, and butter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Buttery pastries, vanilla, funk, oak, peach, molasses, mint,

Finish: Medium warmth and long lasting, minty, earth, esters, oak, citrus, and walnuts

Thoughts: For me this is the right level of funk in my rum, present but now a completely overpowering experience.

Score: 84 out of 100

Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Select

Price: $70 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: George Dickel / SAOS

Region: Tennessee

45% ABV

Aged For: 13 Years

Mashbill: 84% Corn, 8% rye, 8% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Creamy peanut butter and mineral water, caramel, oak, cloves, vanilla, red berries

Feel: Light to medium bodied

Taste: Gentle oak, brown sugar, tangy, butterscotch cinnamon, rose water, apples, and toasted nuts

Finish: Light warmth and medium length, minerals, caramel, nuts, oak, and leather

Thoughts: This is supposedly cask strength at 45%, so it’s the most gentle barrel proofer I have ever had. Maintains a solid aged Dickel profile throughout it that’s your thing, but you’d be better off grabbing a OB Dickel private select for about $30 less.

Score: 81 out of 100

Review: El Dorado 8 Year

Price: $25 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Diamond Distillers

Region: Guyana

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 8-Years

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon barrels

Additives used: Yes

Color: Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Molasses, oak, tobacco, funk, caramel, coconut, pepper, vanilla

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Dry oak spice, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and hint of smoke

Finish: Surprisingly warm for the proof, and medium length, caramel, oak, baking spice, chocolate

Thoughts: Again surprisingly good, spicy, and complex given the price and proof of this.

Score: Low 80’s

Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2019 Triple Wood

Price: $75 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Laphroaig / Beam Suntory

Region: Islay

59.5% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon, quarter casks and Oloroso sherry casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Smoke, ash, grape skins, malt, honey, oak, iodine, melon, vanilla, berry

Feel: Full bodied, oily

Taste: Very strong charred oak and peat smoke hit immediately, followed by mixed of salt, dried fruits, oloroso sherry, and citrus, then returning to a strong tannin and spice backbone

Finish: Long and warm, heavy damp oak and peat still dominate, with bits of herb, white grape, and sherry notes.

Thoughts: Very strong and powerful spice and smoke on the front end, but you can pick up the fruit notes if you dig past the warmth and tannins. As my palate adapted fruit become more to the front of the drink, but with heavy spice still a constant.

Score: 80 out of 100