Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch 9

In March 2015, we reviewed Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch #7), which, at 128 proof, remains Heaven Hill's lowest proof ECBP release to date. Still, Batch 7 was a bad mama jama, full of woody spice and bold flavor. Last month, we stumbled on a bottle of Batch #9 near Folly Beach in South Carolina. Batch 9 comes in at 135.6 proof which it makes it the highest proof bourbon whiskey in our current collection. We got it for $50, which is a steal.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch #9)

Heaven Hill
135.6 proof
$52 at Forsberg's in Charleston, SC

Color: Mahogany.

Nose: Like the inside of a hot Kentucky rick house- brown sugar, alcohol heat, almond extract, lacquered wood, dusty chocolate. Amazing.

Tasting notes: Batch 9 is a Trojan Horse. For a second, I get chewy orange marmalade sweetness. Hold it in the mouth for a second and chili pepper heat takes hold. Burnt sugar, deeply charred oak, and alcohol punish the tongue and throat. The finish is not just long, it is powerful.

Overall: A-. If you are in to cask strength American whiskey, this one is in the main event. Batch 9 is obviously high in alcohol heat, but it is mature and complex. For me, drinking ECBP is pure joy.