Whiskey Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C920

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Heaven Hill. This in no way, per our editorial policiesinfluenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Elijah Craig. What’s there left to say about the “Father of Bourbon?” Is he mythical, or was he a person like you or me? Like any modern sojourner down the path of truth, I turned to Instagram.

Similar to most big brands, Elijah Craig’s Instagram feed is pretty boring. They post medium-pretty but generic images of hands clinking glasses or their bottles on ocean shores. They have a cocktail pod coming out, so you can make your old fashioned with even less work than stirring sugar and bitters into it. Below, micro-influencers and doctors-by-day battle in the comments to give the most sycophantic praise.

One thing they did that departed from that schedule was spearhead Old Fashioned Week and turn it into a fundraiser for Restaurant Workers Community Foundation. With the hospitality industry decimated by the pandemic, many big brands have stepped up to spin their marketing dollars into relief money. RWCF x Elijah Craig ended in a $100,000 donation from the distillery.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation (RWCF) was founded pre-pandemic in 2018 to advocate for wage equity, fair treatment and healthy working conditions: “making the restaurant industry more hospitable to everyone.” Since Covid-19 gutted bars and restaurants, they’ve turned their efforts to supporting the people and small businesses left behind. To date, their fund has raised over six million dollars.

RWCF has a three-pronged approach to advocacy: community building through public education, grantmaking to other non-profits who support workers, and impact investing: both supporting ethical restaurants and using investments to get their voices heard as shareholders.

In all the upheaval that was 2020, Elijah Craig still found time to release several barrel proof iterations, and the one we’ll taste here is C920. Remember: the first letter of the batch number indicates its place among other releases that year, the first digit correlates to the month of the year and the last two digits indicate the year.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C920

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C920 (image via Cindy Capparelli/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C920

Vital Stats: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C920 is 132.8 proof and made from 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. Find a 750mL for $64.99 in limited quantities nationwide.

Appearance: This whiskey is a very clear, deep red-amber that coats the glass, very slowly beads and very slowly forms thick tears.

Nose: Banana peel climbs out of the glass first, followed by molasses, closing with Elmer’s glue.

Palate: It’s silky on the palate, strong on the attack with not too much bite, tasting of vanilla extract and a touch of salt. The mid-palate is full with dark cherry fruit and chocolate. There’s a slight bitterness to the finish, like cacao.

The Takeaway

Summary

This batch of barrel proof fulfills expectations without exceeding them. Solid and warming, fun to make cocktails with. It's a hearty representation of its mash bill.

4
User Rating 3.83 (12 votes)
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