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Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Elijah Craig Barrel Proof: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Elijah Craig Barrel Proof in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Elijah Craig Small Batch

elijah-craig-small-batch-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Oak, chocolate, cinnamon, clove.
  • Palate: Oak spice, bitter chocolate, butterscotch, citrus.
  • Finish: Wood spice, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, vanilla.

Nose offers oak aroma at first, followed by a hint of chocolate, cinnamon and clove.

On the palate, you get oak spice up-front, with a hint of bitter chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla and a tad of citrus.

There is warmth on the finish as you get a hit of ethanol and a spicy bite rich in oak spice, cinnamon, black pepper and clove with some butterscotch sweetness coming late to the party.

Elijah Craig has a nice nose, a good taste but it lets you down on the finish as it feels warm and spicy.

It becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter and loses some of the heat along the peppery bite.

Is not a bad bourbon by any means, barely making it to the sipper category but definitely needs more persistence than the average bourbon in this price range.

Learn how it compares to the Knob Creek!

There are a few facts worth knowing about Elijah Craig:

  • Bottled at 94 proof.
  • Elijah Craig is credited as the first distiller to use heavily charred casks to age bourbon.
  • It is made from a mash bill comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley. 
  • It is bottled by blending no less than 200 casks of maturing bourbon, each of which was rested in a Kentucky rickhouse for a minimum of 8 years.
  • This whiskey previously had an age statement of 12 years but in 2016 the age statement was removed to extend its availability.
  • The distiller also increased the maximum number of barrels used per batch from 100 to 200.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

elijah-craig-barrel-proof
  • Nose: Oak, vanilla and caramel.
  • Palate: Spice, coconut and vanilla.
  • Finish: Pleasantly warm, spice, oak and caramel.

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.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof:

  • Proof varies from batch to batch ranging from 124 to 140!
  • 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.

Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Elijah Craig Barrel Proof: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceBottle Size
Elijah Craig Small Batch$34750ml
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof$87750ml

Elijah Craig Small Batch vs Elijah Craig Barrel Proof: Which is better?

Barrel Proof is a massive upgrade over Small Batch

WhiskeySmall BatchBarrel Proof
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Barrel Proof provides an incredibly tasty dram as it has been neither diluted nor filtered.
  • It’s warm as you might expect from something bottled at such proof but not harsh delivering a nice experience.
  • Add a drop or two of water to tune-down the heat and make it easier to drink.

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