Brian Dawson says on August 5, 2020
C919, Elijah Craig's last Barrel Proof (ECBP C919) bourbon of 2019 is flat out fine juice. Each pour ticks many of my essential boxes: a little heat, some fruit sweetness and hints of oak on the nose, and put the salivary glands through an intense workout as the aromas intensify in the mouth. Certainly not for the faint of heart, the 68.4% ABV can assert itself at any time, even between sips (sip cautiously). And oh the finish ... long and lingering, the aromas and flavors hang around for an exceptional amount of time. My recomendation: If found on store shelves, buy, Buy, BUY!
ELIJAH CRAIG BARREL PROOF C919 BOURBON VITAL STATS:
Category: Small Batch Barrel Proof
Region: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Distillery: Heaven Hill/Bernheim Distillery
Mashbill: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Char: #3
Barrel entry proof: 125
Age: 12 Years
ABV: 68.4% (136.8 Proof)
Availability: Tri-anual Limited Release
Release Date: September 2019
Batch number identifier: C919
▪"C" Third (last) release of the year
▪"9" Released in September
▪"19" Released in 2019
MSRP: $60 (2020-Idaho)
For the evaluation, I shared the juice neat from Glencairn glasses with my daughter and fellow WhiskySuggest reviewer Hannah009.
Check out her review for this whiskey elsewhere on the app!
The rating below is what I also gave in reviews of Booker's 2019-03 Country Ham, Booker's 2018-02 Backyard BBQ, Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Bourbon, Idaho Barrel #1, and Old Ezra 07 Yr Barrel Strength.
When first brought to the nose, ECBP C919 gives a sweet fragrance of fruit tree blossoms and memories of fresh picked sweet corn. But with intentional inhaling, there is strong alcohol and more than a burning tickle. After regaining my bearings, I detect ripe dark berry nectar - I can't really say black or blueberries, but definitely berries. With careful nosing, some nice fresh apple and white pepper is there as well. This is a fruit-sweet bourbon, yet elements of apple pastry and orange or yellow sponge cake mix with a bit of light brown sugar crumble, simple syrup and orange blossom honey, adding a welcome freshness to notes of dry light oak.
Be careful with the first sip ... the 136.8 proof asserts on the unwary! But after an initial firey bite of strong alcohol, assaulted tastebuds are soon bathed in warmth. The floral fruit tree and ripe berry nectar notes detected on the nose are even more pronounced and new caramel notes add depth to the fresh picked apples. Cinnamon and black pepper blend into the dominant heat as do hints of vanilla and grilled angel food cake, brown sugar and traces of burnt caramel. ECBP C919 has an element of roasted bitter hazelnuts too, but they fade quickly into seasoned, spicy oak sawdust and toasted barrel spice and leather.
Balance, Body, Feel and Look:
This is a complex, hot bourbon. Well blended aromas and flavors present upon the first taste putting my salivary glands on overdrive. The juice is at once oily, rough and gritty and there is a certain copperiness in the mouthful. When the sip is swallowed, a tickle of heat remains. Rolling the Glencairn to coat the glass leaves a curtain of juice, parting in long clinging legs which fall into the terracotta colored pool.
ECBP C919 finishes exceptionally long lingering in the mouth with sensations of warm, ripe berry nectar, black pepper, and burnt caramel. Hidden in the toasted wood and leather finish is the subtle fruit sweetness sensed on the nose ... a nice full circle. In the empty Glencairn, strong and seasoned oak sawdust fade slowly away.