Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon is back. Heaven Hill Brands, the nation’s largest independent family owned and operated distilled spirits supplier, is once again offering the highly sought after and critically acclaimed American Whiskey after a three year hiatus due to inventory shortages. A past winner of the “Best Bourbon” award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel was first introduced by Heaven Hill in 1994, and quickly gained legendary status at a time when super-premium Bourbon offerings were few and far between. As demand for the rare whiskey grew, along with growing demand for Heaven Hill’s other super-premium Bourbons, there were simply not enough 18-year-old barrels that met the Master Distiller’s strict quality standards, so the bottling was discontinued in 2012.
The selection process for the Elijah Craig Single Barrel is one of the most stringent at Heaven Hill. From an aging inventory of 1.1 million barrels, the second largest American Whiskey holdings in the world, Master Distillers Craig Beam and Denny Potter select only barrels that have rested at low storage, and then further choose only those that meet their strict nosing and taste criteria. While taste nuances will vary slightly from one barrel to the other, as they should in a single barrel offering, in general they have selected for complex, multi-layered taste profiles that balance the 18 years in new charred oak with sweet and spicy grain notes. As befits a Bourbon that has seen 72 variable Kentucky seasons, the finish is long and warm.