Sunday, October 6, 2019

Elijah Craig Warehouse Liquors Private Select Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $37
- 94 Proof
- Ser. No. 5589830
- Kentucky

I stopped into Warehouse Liquors bright and early in the morning a few weeks back while on my way into work. I was heading there for the sole purpose of grabbing their newest Buffalo Trace single barrel, which I did snag. But, while I was waiting for the guy to grab one from the back, I noticed he was in the process of unpacking their latest Elijah Craig pick.

And so, at 7:30 in the morning in the middle of the week, I found myself walking out of a liquor store with two new private picks in hand!  Certainly the earliest I've bought a bottle of whiskey, but it did help set the mood for the rest of my day.  It also had me eager to finish up for the day to get home and try both of them.

I popped the cork on this one that evening, and the first thing I noticed on the nose was the odd combination of caramel and black pepper.  I've certainly gotten such notes in other whiskeys, but for some reason the interplay between the two on this one really stuck out.  I also got some vanilla as well as a light woodiness.  On later pours, I noticed a kind of tangy quality, like an amaretto note. I kind of wished this note was a bit more prominent.

As to flavor, the caramel was again the most prevalent. However, it also had notes of cherry as well as the black pepper. Again, however, this created a kind of odd combination that made the cherry note come off as a bit medicinal.  I also got a bit of a maple syrup flavor to it as well, that certainly sweetened things up just a touch.

Similar to the nose, I did get a touch of woodiness in the flavor. It came across as more of a sawdust note, though, like the flavor of the air when cutting two-by-fours with a circular saw. That's very specific, I know, but that's where my mind went. I also got a lot of unsweetened, almost raw vanilla, and at times I noticed some raisin flavor coming through.

Overall, this bourbon had a lot of flavor to it, a lot going on. However, it seemed to be somewhat all over the place, with bitterness, sweetness and earthiness, and even a bit of a medicinal quality. None of the flavors seemed to really work with one another but rather stood on their own, in contrast to one another. It had complexity but lacked cohesiveness.

Despite the various syrup notes I was getting, the texture was anything but syrupy. It was actually really watery. Certainly the proof has something to do with that, but even at this proof it seemed more watery than most. I don't know if that had anything to do with the kind of lack of cohesiveness among the flavors or not.

Grade: B

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