Taste Test: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Is Strong—but Not Too Strong

The latest batch lowers the proof but doesn’t sacrifice flavor.

Bourbon, Whiskey

1/22/2022 3:02:00 AM

Elijah Craig's latest whiskey lowers the proof but doesn't sacrifice flavor.

The latest batch lowers the proof but doesn’t sacrifice flavor.

However, if you still want to drink Elijah Craig that is aged for a minimum of 12 years, look no further than the barrel-proof version, which is released three times a year. The first batch, A122 (batch A, released in January of 2022), just hit shelves and it’s a damn good whiskey. Barrel proof means that the whiskey is bottled at the proof at which it comes out of the barrel, as opposed to being cut with water to lower ABV and increase volume. In the case of Elijah Craig, the proof has ranged as high as about 140, which is… challenging. Yes, whiskey fans (myself included) love barrel-proof releases, but there are times when it’s just overpowering and difficult to drink. Of course, you can always proof it down yourself by adding a bit of water, and again that’s one of the pleasures of drinking this type of bourbon—you can literally control its strength as you taste. All that being said, A122 comes in at a really drinkable 120.8 proof, which is strong but entirely palatable without adding any water. It also makes for a supercharged but tasty cocktail like an Old Fashioned.

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