Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
|Nose||Oak, vanilla and caramel|
|Palate||Spice, coconut, vanilla|
|Finish||Long, spice, oak, caramel|
|Alcohol content||130 proof (65% ABV)|
|How to drink||Add water|
|Similar to||Small Batch, Rare Breed, Knob Creek 12|
Nose is strong in oak, followed by vanilla, caramel and a bit of ethanol.
On the palate, the Barrel Proof feels full bodied, warm at first as you might expect from something bottled at 120 proof but not harsh. There are spicy hints, along a coconut note followed by a touch of vanilla and brown sugar.
The finish is long and warms the chest nicely, mostly sweet, with a floral note and a tad of oak spice.
This is good stuff, the heat lingers obviously but the floral note lingers too with a good hit of brown sugar and a bit of tartness.
This bourbon is well rounded, with some bold flavors making it entirely satisfying.
Add a large ice cube if you feel too much warmth but as you let it develop it becomes incredibly good and enough to become the best Elijah Craig Bourbon.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof:
- This bourbon is uncut, meaning that no water was added before bottling, and unfiltered as a means to retain all of its flavors.
- Aged for 12 years.
- Mash is comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley.
- The first letter of each batch number shows which of that year’s releases the bottle was a part of. Beginning with “A,” the second digit determines the month the bottle was released, followed by the year.
- Two time Best Small Batch Bourbon Double Gold medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel
|Nose||Vanilla, oak, cherry, green apple|
|Palate||Caramel, vanilla, rye spice, charred oak|
|Finish||Medium-length, warming, caramel, oak spice|
|Alcohol content||94 proof (47% ABV)|
|How to drink||Add water|
|Similar to||Woodford Reserve Double Oaked|
The Toasted Barrel is the sam whiskey as the Small Batch but finished in in toasted barrels.
These barrels, crafted in partnership with Independent Stave Company, were made with 18 month air-dried staves which were toasted and then flash charred.
This additional step made it better as it removed some of the hard edges of the Small Batch by adding sweetness along a nice charred oak note and making it feel less hot.
On the nose you get a lot of vanilla at first, followed by oak and cherry.
On the palate, Toasted Barrel displays a medium body. Taste is sweet up-front, rich in vanilla and caramel, followed by rye spice and charred oak.
The finish has a medium length, with a nice slow burn, with caramel and charred oak.
Drinks nicely neat or rocks. Water tunes down the heat while releasing sweetness and more oak making it a tad better.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel:
- Aged initially for 8 years and then one additional year in the aforementioned barrels.
- Elijah Craig is credited as the first distiller to use heavily charred casks to age bourbon.
- Elijah Craig is produced by Heaven Hills Distilleries, a private, American family-owned and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Barrel Proof vs Toasted Barrel: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
|Elijah Craig Barrel Proof||$86|
|Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel||$95|
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Toasted Barrel: Which is better?
Barrel Proof is the best Elijah Craig
- Toasted Barrel is an upgrade over the Small Batch but not good enough to defeat the Barrel Proof which is an incredibly tasty bourbon.
- Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is not smooth, is warm at first, while rich and complex making an entirely satisfying bourbon that does not drink as something bottled at proof.
- Add ice if you feel it warm, as you let it develop and grow accustomed to it you are going to love it.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!