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Elijah Craig 18yo

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Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby TreacleSponge » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:07 pm

I mentioned elsewhere that I tried a new (to me) whiskey, and I was wondering if anyone had any views on it.

Last night I opened an Elijah Craig 18yo. I'm very inexperienced with bourbon. I've had a bottle of Jim Beam White Label (truly horrid) and tried Makers Mark. But this is wonderful stuff. Completely taken me by surprise. There's a huge whoomph of flavours, big strong flavours. And they go on and on revealing themselves in layers. I really love this, and I love being surprised by it. I'll get some notes together tonight.

Has anyone else tried it? Is it surprisingly great or is this what I should expect from bourbons?
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:15 pm

I for one MUCH prefer the EC 12 to the 18...I think that is a common opinion...Far less woody, brighter, yet still amagingly rich and complex. Lots of leather and citrus notes..

There are many good bourbons- I tend to prefer in the 7-13 year range or so, and at a higher octane....My current cheap favorite (in the US, under 20 dollars), WL weller Antique....wonderful wheater....
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby dcb » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:53 pm

I don't like Woodford Reserve and do much prefer the 18 yo Elijah Craig to the 12, but the 12 is very tasty. Both are great values and worth trying. also, the Weller Antique is indeed great. 7 years old, 107 proof, and again a great value.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:46 pm

Woodford is good stuff, but never struck me as anything special, and there seem to be much better for the price. BH I have read negative comments on, and have never had the chance to try a sample. I am just really learning bourbon, and read straightbourbon.com for my knoweldge. It is almost nuts how much some of the folks there know. Since we were talking the 18, that means we can go up in price in terms of what we can look at. Pappy 15, usually about $50 in the US, is very, very good. The 20 is also very yummy, but close to 100. That is whisky form the old Stitzle Weller distillery, which I have learned from old samples from one of our estemmed members, I really enjoy. There is a depth and comlexity to the old SW wheat based bourbons that matches the most comlex single malts. Just stunning stuff.

OH, and for the Pappys- I actaully like the 10yo 107 as much as any.

As far as other currnent bourbons, I really like the Russel Reserve a good deal. The RR 101 is great,but hard to get. The RR90 is also good. WT 101 is good, basic, good in your face rye bourbon. Spicy and fun, not much depth. The 8yo, which is for the duty free market, is very nice. A very heavy dose of oak provides balance to the intense rye.

Of course, Stagg is very good stuff, just very expensive overseas. I have not had the more expensive of the Wellers (WL WELLER cask strenght)-that is onthe list. Weller 12 is another good weated bourbon.

In general, when comparing the best of the best, I prefer single malts still. Yet, the more time I spend with Bourbons and Ryes, and become used to the in your face wood (I felt like I was biting into a tree at first), the more I enjoy.

However, I prefer a cheap bourbon over a cheap blend- cheap blends are trashed with coloring- I can feel it on my tounge after a dram..Yuck....Cheap bourbon does must be all natural, by law, so while it may lack some complexity, it is at least a good, honest, unadulterated drink.

Wow, that was a lot of rambling.....
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby TreacleSponge » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:59 pm

Drrich1965 wrote:I for one MUCH prefer the EC 12 to the 18...I think that is a common opinion...Far less woody, brighter, yet still amagingly rich and complex. Lots of leather and citrus notes..

Oooh, I think it's maybe the wood that I like. It's very potting-shed and tobacco :thumbsup: . I've not tried the 12 but if you think that's better then it's really something to look forward to!

Something else about the EC18 - it feels really oily compared to SMSW - is that typical of bourbon?

I have a George T Stagg which I've not yet tried - someone suggested it as a winter dram and I'm so easily influenced that I bought it and sooo obedient that I'd planned to leave unopened until maybe late October.

Treacle
PS. Good ramble :)
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:07 pm

TreacleSponge wrote:
Drrich1965 wrote:I for one MUCH prefer the EC 12 to the 18...I think that is a common opinion...Far less woody, brighter, yet still amagingly rich and complex. Lots of leather and citrus notes..

Oooh, I think it's maybe the wood that I like. It's very potting-shed and tobacco :thumbsup: . I've not tried the 12 but if you think that's better then it's really something to look forward to!

Something else about the EC18 - it feels really oily compared to SMSW - is that typical of bourbon?

I have a George T Stagg which I've not yet tried - someone suggested it as a winter dram and I'm so easily influenced that I bought it and sooo obedient that I'd planned to leave unopened until maybe late October.

Treacle
PS. Good ramble :)


I am sure its a very good winter dram. I also would venture to say its a pretty fine dram on March 26th..... :thumbsup:

If you like the big wood, than I would get ahold of a bottle of Wild Turkey 8yo- very common in duty free, and about 20 bucks, which is what we pay for the EC 12...Not bragging, just trying to soften the blow of what we have had to pay for malt these days (Go dollar, go, go)..
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby sku » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:46 pm

EC 18 is probably my favorite Bourbon. It's definitely a wood monster, which turns some off, but I would take it over other great Bourbons like Stagg or Eagle Rare.

I also think of it as a Scotch-drinker's Bourbon. It has such huge complexity and is lighter on the sweetness. I think it appeals to the Scotch lover's palate.

If you like EC 18, you may want to try some other Heavan Hill Bourbons: EC 12, Evan Williams and Parker's Heritage (which I haven't tried yet but which is supposed to be very good).
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Admiral » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:03 am

I also much prefer the Elijah Craig 12 to the 18, and considering the relatively cheap cost, the 12yo is a spectacular bourbon.

Basil Hayden is a bit too one dimensional for me...not particularly complex.

Another great bourbon is Blantons Gold.

I've had some of the single barrel offerings from Evan Williams, e.g. the 1993 and 1994. They were okay, but nowhere near as good as Elijah Craig 12.

Cheers,
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby MacAttack80 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:06 am

I have yet to try the 18yo. I have a bottle of the 12yo and I love it. I was hesitant to get the 18yo as everyone says the 12 is so much better. I might have to see for myself.

Basil Hayden was ok. I wasn't to impressed with it. Makers Mark is a good boubon IMHO. I have had Woodford Reserve at a friends house and I really like that too. Blantons might be the next bourbon purchase for me though.

Cheers!
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby oldrip57 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:11 am

sku wrote:EC 18 is...definitely a wood monster, which turns some off...I also think of it as a Scotch-drinker's Bourbon...


I agree but -- as a bourbon-first drinker -- I'm part of the 'opposition'. I find EC18 single-barrel cardboard-y and over-oaked. I've bought and tried multiple bottles, and haven't like a single one. I wind up giving them away.
The Elijah Craig 12yo and 18yo are entirely different animals, except in name. Alas, I -- and others -- find the EC12, too, somewhat variable. I've had some exceptional bottles, and some that reminded primarily of the antiseptic sink in a doctor's office.
George T. Stagg is a revelatory bourbon, but one that is -- reputation-wise, I think -- out-stripping its assets. It IS quintessential bourbon at barrel-proof, but -- having had the privilege/enjoyment of sampling several such bourbon (whether actually bottled as such or not) -- it's not all that special. It's uniqueness is in the manner in which it's presented, not that it's all that much better than any other similar-aged, barrel-proof bourbon (if you could find any!).
Woodford Reserve, in my opinion, would be attractive at about 2/3s its price.
Any 'Van Winkle' is good, if you can afford it. Julian (and, now, Preston) has a fine palate for whiskey. He won't put 'junk' in a bottle with his name on it.
I fear for Old Weller Antique 107. Buffalo Trace has discontinued some longer-aged and/or higher-proof bottlings lately. They've said nothing yet, but stock up, just in case.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby bamber » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:37 am

As you're in the UK also take a look at the Cadenhead's bourbons.

Cask strength single barrel Heaven Hill bottlings at various ages that are generally fantastic and all unique. Also try any SMWS bottling you can - I've had some 20+ yo stuff from their London bar that outstrips the malts they offer (IMO !!).

I'd also echo the recomendations of others on the thread and also add that you'd probably like the William Larue Weller as that has massive oak input.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby sku » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:57 pm

oldrip57 wrote:

George T. Stagg is a revelatory bourbon, but one that is -- reputation-wise, I think -- out-stripping its assets. It IS quintessential bourbon at barrel-proof, but -- having had the privilege/enjoyment of sampling several such bourbon (whether actually bottled as such or not) -- it's not all that special. It's uniqueness is in the manner in which it's presented, not that it's all that much better than any other similar-aged, barrel-proof bourbon (if you could find any!).


I agree with you on Stagg. I also have noticed that EC 18 does, unfortunately, differ from bottle to bottle, but, to quote Mae West, when it's good, it's very good.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby bamber » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:07 am

sku wrote:
oldrip57 wrote:

George T. Stagg is a revelatory bourbon, but one that is -- reputation-wise, I think -- out-stripping its assets. It IS quintessential bourbon at barrel-proof, but -- having had the privilege/enjoyment of sampling several such bourbon (whether actually bottled as such or not) -- it's not all that special. It's uniqueness is in the manner in which it's presented, not that it's all that much better than any other similar-aged, barrel-proof bourbon (if you could find any!).


I agree with you on Stagg. I also have noticed that EC 18 does, unfortunately, differ from bottle to bottle, but, to quote Mae West, when it's good, it's very good.


Sorry to be contrary but I'm afraid I don't. I've had many barrel proof bottlings and with the exception of a single dram in the SMWS many moons ago, the 2003 and 2004 GTS's are the best barrel proof (>50.5% say) bourbons I've had including the 53.5% Van Winkle stuff, Noah's Mill, WLR, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Cadenhead's (all Heaven HIll I think), Blanton's uncut, Jim Beam small batch, Old Grandad (JB I think)).
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby TreacleSponge » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:11 pm

Drrich1965 wrote:
TreacleSponge wrote:I have a George T Stagg which I've not yet tried - someone suggested it as a winter dram and I'm so easily influenced that I bought it and sooo obedient that I'd planned to leave unopened until maybe late October.


I am sure its a very good winter dram. I also would venture to say its a pretty fine dram on March 26th..... :thumbsup:

OK, I'm far too suggestible to leave it alone so I opened my Stagg. I'll just have to find something else to be my great winter bottle. My mum would say "and if they told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?" Um, probably yes.

Really, really loving this new bourbon world I've found. The intensity of new flavours from the Stagg was amazing. My brain couldn't really process it all, so I'll make notes another time.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby oldrip57 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:46 pm

bamber wrote:...I've had many barrel proof bottlings and with the exception of a single dram in the SMWS many moons ago, the 2003 and 2004 GTS's are the best barrel proof (>50.5% say) bourbons I've had including the 53.5% Van Winkle stuff, Noah's Mill, WLR, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Cadenhead's (all Heaven HIll I think), Blanton's uncut, Jim Beam small batch, Old Grandad (JB I think)).


My notation was for "similarly aged, barrel proof" bottlings. Of the ones you mention, only Noah's Mill (alas, chill-filtered) is similarly aged to GTStagg, at 15 years old, AND barrel-proof. The Van Winkle and Old Grand-Dad (114 proof, I presume) are NOT barrel-proof, just 'over'-proofed. The WT Rare Breed in a marriage of 6-, 8- and 12-yo whiskeys, Blanton's is c. 8 years old. I'm assuming that WLR is the William Larue Weller Antique Collection bottling, which was 15 one year, but 12 and 7 the other two years. Plus, a wheat-recipe mashbill. Cadenhead's we just don't see here, but I've tasted barrel-proof Heaven Hill from the barrel, and it can be outstanding. The '03 and '04 Staggs you mention are, indeed, some of the better bottlings -- so, yes, they may well seem the best of that lot. The last couple years' have been much larger batches and, I think, lesser whiskeys.
Anyway, I have both a very good Noah's Mill bottle and the '07 Stagg open currently, so that may make a nice tasting matchup sometime this weekend. :D
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby TreacleSponge » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:25 pm

OK, these are my thoughts on it. The finish seemed woodier today, I'll look out for a 12yo, as well as some of the other suggestions here.

Elijah Craig 18yo

Elijah Craig
18yo Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Battenburg cake, new soft wood like a school woodwork room, sharp oranges, strawberry creams, something green and earthy. Then wet pipe tobacco, and a tea caddy.
Lovely and smooth. Thick and oily. A bit of nail varnish remover. Orangey. Very sweet. Vanilla (vanilla essence/paste for cooking). Caramel. Charred wood. So very rich. Damp tobacco, leather, hay, potting sheds, those tea chests that removals firms used to have.
Sweet then dry. Like orange juice when you've just brushed your teeth. There are layers upon layers of huge strong flavours, but they don't fight each other despite their enormity. Big oak. The finish goes on and on, which is perfect because I don't want it to end.
If I had a grandad this would make me think of his allotment potting shed made of untreated wood. His allotment friends would hang out in it, with their pipes and rolling baccy (Imaginary Grandpa is a non-smoker). I'd bring them home-made sponge cake to have with their flask of tea and the shed would be filled with their laugher and we'd huddle round a 3-bar electric heater...
The longer I leave this in the glass, the better it is. I'm a novice with bourbons and I was very happy and surprised when I tried this. It's a really exciting start to finding out about something that tastes so different from SMSW, but that I seem to love just as much. I hope all bourbon is going to be this great. I'm looking forward to finding out.
Rich mahogany
94

18 Years Old
0
45%
-

Bourbon
Kentucky
a little
nope
Glencairn
Barreled 09/01/89, #2162

Please do not reproduce or copy this tasting note without permission.

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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Laphroaig » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:13 pm

I thought the fall 2007 release of William Larue Weller was 10 years old, with the other previous releases being 12 or more years of age?

Which vintage was 7 years old?
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby bamber » Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:12 pm

oldrip57 wrote:Anyway, I have both a very good Noah's Mill bottle and the '07 Stagg open currently, so that may make a nice tasting matchup sometime this weekend. :D


Let us know what you think of the 07 Stagg. I've toying with the idea of getting a bottle for a while, but I've missed the boat a bit and will have to pay £100 for a bottle :(
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby TreacleSponge » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:59 pm

bamber wrote:
oldrip57 wrote:Anyway, I have both a very good Noah's Mill bottle and the '07 Stagg open currently, so that may make a nice tasting matchup sometime this weekend. :D


Let us know what you think of the 07 Stagg. I've toying with the idea of getting a bottle for a while, but I've missed the boat a bit and will have to pay £100 for a bottle :(

How do you know the year? I can't see a date...
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Willie JJ » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:10 am

For ref. Treacle (Wikipedia):

* 2002: 137 proof/68.5% ABV
* 2003 (Hazmat): 142 proof/71.0% ABV
* 2004: 129 proof/64.5% ABV
* Spring 2005 Lot A: Kentucky release, 130.9 proof/65.45% ABV
* Spring 2005 Lot B: general release, 131.8 proof/65.9% ABV
* Fall 2005 (Hazmat II): 141.2 proof/70.6% ABV
* 2006 (Hazmat III): 140.6 proof/70.3% ABV
* 2007 (Hazmat IV): 144.8 proof/72.4% ABV

The 2003, Fall 2005, 2006, and 2007 releases have been nicknamed "Hazmat," because their extremely high alcohol content precludes them from being taken aboard commercial flights.
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby voigtman » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:54 am

Minor corrections:
Stagg 2002 is 137.6 proof (68.8% ABV)
Stagg 2003 is 142.7 proof (71.35% ABV)
Cheers, Ed
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Re: Elijah Craig 18yo

Postby Willie JJ » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:15 am

I guess the author of the Wiki entry didn't get the point of the first two. :)

Thanks Ed
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