Going back to my trip to San Francisco I stumbled upon this beauty. I had just had Elijah Craig 21 year a few weeks before. So, it was fresh in my mind. I enjoyed the bourbon, but it was a tad oaky for me. I was hoping that this would be the perfect blend. This comes from the same low rye, heavy corn mashbill as the EW Black label, but the intense aging and barrel selection allows these to soar.
Elijah Craig 18 year
Bottled in 2000
This was poured into a Glencairn glass and allowed to sit 10 minutes.
The nose was initially toffee and oak heavy with a smooth alcohol burn. As the bourbon sat, I smelled less alcohol and vanilla and a nice sweetness bloomed.
On first sip I get a sweet caramel with hints of vanilla. Then, you find the oak with some orange and maybe even a hint of papaya. The finish comes back with more of a burnt caramel and vanilla. The sweetness really balances the oak well.
There is a medium viscosity to the mouthfeel. It lingers for a good 20 seconds after your sip.
Overall: 8.5/10 It is definitely much more balanced than EC21, and much more complex than EC12.
Value: If you find it for $50(liquor store price) get it, 10/10. If you find it in a bar for $12-15 it is well worth the try.