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Caramel, vanilla, baking spice, clove, a little oak. Rich. Truly great. I havent had any other bourbons in this price range that can even come close. ECBP beats out 99% of ‘hyped up’ bourbon out there.
As all ECBP this is enjoyable, but not my favorite. Actually a lower proof than it’s later offerings, this one is quite proofy even though it’s only 118. Still great but not one of my favorites. Nose is pleasant but the spice and proofiness was a bit more than I like.
👃 pineapple pinecones. Shockingly smooth for the proof.
👄 Sugary oak. Again, easy on the palate for the proof. This is a good one
🏁 Dark fruit
Struggling to find specific notes on this one, but I'm doing a side by side of a120 b521 and v522 and I think this one is my favorite
Nose: peanut with slight anise
Palette: viscous and sweet. Peanut brittle with some chocolate notes, smooth and not too oaky. Fig, date, raisin, some slight baking spices of nutmeg and cinnamon. Subtle vanilla, then a fresh minty finish. Finish is long and some tannins show up. More peanut in the finish. Very nice.
So lately I've been getting to the bottom of some bottles i've been working on for way too long and just keep forgetting to post reviews on them. Today I finally killed this bottle of B521 and while I'm an Elijah Craig fan as it's what i consider my "go-to" or "daily drinker" I just can't say this is the best batch i've had. Sure, it's good, it's got that ECBP oaky char taste that got me to love the line of Elijah but it's not anywhere near the great taste I've experienced with some other batches they've released.
So in typical bourbon fashion and to post the obligatory specs on this I'll give it quick run-through.
Appearance - Do i really give a shit what a bourbon looks like? It's got that copper brown color like they all do. Am i color/hue expert no? When i try gins, vodkas, or blanco tequilas do i rate them on color? No, so my rating for this bourbon on appearance is "it looks like a damn bourbon/whiskey and i don't really care".
Scent/smell - Smell is very nice. Oaky char with a hint of marshmallow that is so unique to the Elijah Craig label. Love it IMO there is nothing that has the same smell. Maybe because i've been through so many bottles of EC small batch but i could pick it out of a blind lineup any day (similar to how Beam has a unique scent). Scent is very pleasing for this one.
Taste - Typical of an Elijah Craig but i get some alcohol tones that i just don't really care for in this one. It's a lower proof release but it's just not that flavorful and as i write this i lowered my score by .25 thinking about that. Typically these barrel proofs will have a lot of heat but followed by a ton of flavor. This one just doesn't have the follow up like most so i just can't love it.
Overall this was not my favorite release and i feel the scores are influenced by the troves of new bourbonphiles that don't understand what the older releases tasted like before Heaven Hill became a sellout giving stores single barrel picks everywhere. I can now find store pick barrel proofs at about 10-12 stores locally all priced close to $90 which is exactly what I hoped EC wouldn't turn into. I fear the normal releases they put out 3 times a year aren't going to be as good as some of the barrels they may sell to stores unfortunately but I'm not going to find out by buying 10 bottles at $90 a piece to find out.