Elijah Craig Small Batch Review (The Father)

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Let’s dive into the Elijah Craig Small Batch review to find out why folks call this whiskey is the “Father of Bourbon”. In the last few years, the Elijah Craig family of bourbons have gone from Kentucky standards to globally sought-after whiskeys. The Small Batch’s “big brother,” Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, was the Whisky Advocate magazine’s 2017 Whisky of the Year.  While the Small Batch product is different from the Barrel Proof, it’s still a really quality whiskey.

Getting to Know Elijah Craig Small Batch

Before we get into the story of the brand and the distillery behind the bourbon, we need to meet Elijah Craig the man. Reverend Craig, a Baptist preacher, often gets the credit as the first to create “true Kentucky bourbon” by putting his whiskey into charred oak barrels.  Thus, several whiskey aficionados recognize Rev. Elijah Craig as the “Father of Bourbon.”

Elijah Craig Bourbon comes from Heaven Hill Distillery, the oldest family-owned distillery in the United States. While the company distills most of its whiskey at the old Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, you can travel south to Bardstown where you can visit Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center for the Heaven Hill stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. And, while you’re there, you can gaze across the hills at the incredible sight of dozens upon dozens of bourbon Rickhouses dotting the countryside.

Heaven Hill is a massive spirits company with a portfolio that includes such American whiskey brands as Evan Williams, Rittenhouse Rye, and of course, Elijah Craig. They also produce other spirits including Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey, Burnett’s London Dry Gin and Admiral Nelson’s Rum.

Heaven Hill caused quite a stir among the bourbon community in 2016 when they dropped the 12-year age statement from the Elijah Craig bourbon. Before that, Elijah Craig 12-year was considered one of the best value bourbons on the market. These days, it has been rebranded as Elijah Craig Small Batch and is a non-age-stated product.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Review

Let’s get to the whiskey.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon has a very traditional bourbon mash bill of 78 percent corn, 10 percent rye and 12 percent malted barley. The whiskey is bottled at 94 proof, or 47 percent alcohol. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon is a blend of 200 or fewer barrels of eight to twelve-year-old bourbon. The barrels are blended together to create a consistent Elijah Craig taste every time you buy a bottle off the shelf.

The nose of this bourbon matches the traditional mash bill. You’ll notice vanilla, caramel, and oak first. Eventually, you’ll begin to pick up hints of nuts. Let the glass sit for a few minutes and these notes become more pronounced.

The palate is not overwhelming. You’ll get the traditional notes of oak and vanilla but in subtle waves. It’s a well-rounded bourbon, which is a sign of its quality. No one flavor overpowers the others, with each taking its turn respectfully. The only problem is, you’ll be left wanting more from the whiskey. That said, it’s a pleasant drink.

On the finish, a burst of cinnamon appears out of nowhere. There are also lingering notes of oak, but they aren’t overpowering. The finish is medium in length, but again, it isn’t very robust or challenging.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Reviews From Instagram Whiskey Lovers

You’ve read what we think, now let’s take a look at what some others think.

From @supreme_autosports

Elijah Craig Small Batch Review by @supreme_autosports
A bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch – Image credit: @supreme_autosports

@elijahcraig the double gold award winner bourbon. On the rocks today but still so smooth. A must [have]for a collection. I need to get the barrel proof. What y’all drinking on? – @supreme_autosports

@iowawhiskeyguy said

Review by @iowawhiskeyguy
A bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch – Image credit: @iowawhiskeyguy

Not a fan of this… not sure what the hype is. I’ll give it another try on a different day but, last night I wasn’t very impressed. – @iowawhiskeyguy

From @ramsv_beer_run

Review by @ramsv_beer_run
A bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch – Image credit: @ramsv_beer_run

Elijah Craig Small Batch 47% Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky. Its fire at 94 proof, but nice sweet dessert pour as a nightcap. – @ramsv_beer_run

@sevengrandsd says

Elijah Craig Small Batch Review by @sevengrandsd
A bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch – Image credit: @sevengrandsd

We got another one! Frogs, monkeys, flamingos are the name of this Elijah Craig single barrel. This particular bourbon is quickly becoming our new favorite…loaded with bright fruit characteristics, it reminds us of summertime sunshine.- @sevengrandsd

The Finish

Well, there you have it. Elijah Craig is a solid, if unspectacular, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. You can enjoy this bourbon neat or on the rocks. It would even go well in a cocktail. Unless you’re in the mood for something a little higher proof, you won’t be disappointed by this bottle. How would you drink Elijah Craig Small Batch?

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