Veteran Bourbon Review: Elijah Craig Single Barrel


Heaven Hill Distillery

Mash bill



8 Years


123.8 Proof


$76 (2023)

Official Product Website

History – ”The Father of Bourbon”- Reverend Elijah Craig was a Baptist preacher, an educator, and an entrepreneur who built the first paper and wool mills in Georgetown, Kentucky. But for all his industries, it was his gift as a distiller and an innovator that brought him his greatest acclaim. While we draw inspiration from parts of Elijah Craig’s story, his legacy will forever be stained by his connection to slavery. Like other Kentucky landowners of his generation, Elijah Craig owned slaves. Uncovering the roles of these laborers, how they contributed to the birth of the Bourbon industry and what happened to them and their families is a critical mission of our brand today. Elijah Craig is actively engaged in academic research and other initiatives to not just uncover the past, but to make America today a more just and equitable country.
In 1789, Elijah Craig became the first distiller to age his whiskey in new charred oak barrels. Some claim that an accidental fire charred his barrels and changed the whiskey inside. Others say he stored his whiskey in former sugar barrels and was impressed with how charing improved the flavor. However it happened, Elijah Craig knew he had discovered something great. He continued to refine the barrel charring process, imparting smooth, rich flavor to the spirit that would become known as Bourbon. 250 years later, he is still known as the Father of Bourbon—and we craft our Bourbon today using the same time-honored methods.-

Value – For $76 this is over priced in my opinion even considering this is a hard to find bottle.

Appearance – The iconic Elijah bottle never disappoints with their wide but narrow body. This private single barrel is caramel in color and is capped with a cork. I do have to say this is one of the best corks; it’s so smooth.

Nose – Pecan, leather, and caramel make up the majority of the aroma. This hits all the key notes for a great nose. Wrapping it up, you will find strong fumes, as you should with a 123.8-proof bourbon.

Palate – The palate displays caramel, mocha, and pecan wood. It’s hard to really sit and try to decipher this palate because the heat overpowers all else. With that being said, this still has good taste.

Finish – This finish would be great if not for the burn that is bestowed upon your esophagus. I don’t see this as an everyday sipping pour if you like to drink it neat unless you desire that fire-breathing sip.

Summary – In summary, this single barrel is from a private barrel, Veterans Anchored in Pride ‘23, barrel serial No: 6664411. I purchased this bottle at the package store on the Navy base in Jacksonville. I had to scoop it up after seeing it was a single barrel, considering the only other “single barrel” per se that I know Elijah Craig has is the 18YR.

“This Elijah Craig product shows an amazing nose, but that’s the best quality of this review. I wouldn’t buy another bottle; however, I don’t want to discourage someone else from trying it.

Eric Watkins

Uniqueness- 1-10 – 9

Appearance- 1-10 – 7

Nose- 1-20 – 17

Palate- 1-20 – 13

Finish- 1-20 – 11

Value- 1-20 – 9


Reviewed by:

Eric Watkins on 03/08/2023

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