Saturday, January 22, 2022

Elijah Craig Small Batch Tuscan/Hammar's Private Selection Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $32
- 94 Proof
- Barrel NO. 6194298
- Kentucky

On some of these store picks I feel like a broken record when I say, I buy them when I find them. That's the case for Buffalo Trace picks, Eagle Rare picks and, of course, Elijah Craig picks, among others. For the price I have gotten a very good whiskey every single time. Despite all the changes in the industry, new distilleries, new products, new gimmicks, etc, this remains a solid buy.

This particular bottle was selected by the group that owns an unassuming but solid liquor store near me called Hammar's Liquors. It is absolutely one of the best places around to get the fresh drops of craft beer, and while their whiskey selection isn't what you'll find at Binny's, it's still pretty decent and from time to time you can find some of the more hard to find bottles there. And, of course, they do get store picks such as this bottle from time to time.

The nose was great, even if it didn't stray to far from what I typically expect out of Elijah Craig. I got a sweet but slightly toasted note, like a toasted (but not charred) marshmallow. It also had a sweet cinnamon spice to it, as well as a sweeter chocolate note, somewhere between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. 

The flavor did, however, give me a little bit of variation from standard Elijah Craig. Right up front I got the sweet cinnamon, but that was paired with a sweet and rich and tangy amaretto note that I was a big fan of.  Those flavors were also met with a dark chocolate note that gave this a sort of rich and lightly sweet dessert flavor.

There was also something crackery. It was still sweet, perhaps like a graham cracker, but with a bit more of a grain forward note, if that makes any sense. While the more savory, grain-forward part of it seemed to stick out a bit, it still played really well with the marshmallow, chocolate and cinnamon.

The finish was slightly spicy, but here it strayed from the cinnamon to more of a chili pepper note. That, paired with the chocolate note on the finish reminded me a bit of Mexican chocolate. There was also a sort of caramel pastry note, kind of like a caramel iced donut but with the sugar levels tempered way down. 

This was a whiskey that wanted to be a sweeter, dessert-like whiskey, but just didn't have the needed sugar to get there. In that sense I kind of liked it, and I found I really enjoyed this in an Old Fashioned, even if I typically like to use a little higher proof whiskey.

Grade: B

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