This Small Batch, also known as the Elijah Craig Small Batch 12 Year, has been one of the most consistent bourbons from the Heaven Hill Company. This line-up is named in honor of The Father of Bourbon, Elijah. In 1789, Elijah started a distillery, and in the same year, there was a fire in one of his barns.
With the fire, a few empty whiskey barrels kept in the farm were partially burnt. The burnt barrels imparted color and flavor, and this is how Bourbon was born. Elijah later went on to become a leading name in Bourbon Whiskeys.
This Small Batch bottling in its current form comprises selected whiskeys 8-12 years of age. The Whiskey Shelf calls the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon a Shelf Staple in its review.
So, what makes the Small Batch Bourbon from this company filled with classic bourbon flavors of sweet vanilla and mellowed oak? Let us find out why it makes it the best Bourbon at its price in this Heaven Hill Small Batch Review.
#1. A Detailed Overview of Elijah Craig Small Batch
Drinkability and value for price have always been the unique selling points of the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon from Heaven Hill. The Heaven company has done a remarkable job in maintaining both the cost and taste of this Small Batch Bourbon.
This Bourbon’s mash bill is around 75% corn, 12% rye, and 13% barley. The Small Batch Bourbon from this company offers a taste that you would not expect from a bourbon at its price range. Let us take a look at some frequently asked questions about the Small Batch, and then move on to the review of this Small Batch bourbon.
What is the best Bourbon for the money?
There is no doubt that the Small Batch Bourbon from Heaven Hill offers the best value for its price at around $20, and this Small Batch provides what people are trained to expect from a $40-$50 bourbon. Other than this Small Batch, the Henry McKenna Single Barrel is also one of the best bourbons for the money.
What Bourbon is similar to Heaven Hill?
Although this Bourbon is known to be one of the best bourbons, there are a few worthy competitors in the bourbon market. I love the Knob Creek Small Batch and the Buffalo Trace Small Batch. They both provide excellent value for money, but the Four Roses and the Old Forester are also worthy choices.
#2. Tasting Notes
This Small Batch Bourbon is a burnished copper-colored bourbon. According to The Whiskey Shelf, this Bourbon scores a 1.4/2 on the color scale. The burnished copper reminds you that you are going to deep dive into a complex set of flavors.
This Bourbon’s mash bill is higher in corn and has minimal amounts of rye and malted barley. This mash bill gives the smell of vanilla, caramel, nut, and oak pop to the Small Batch from the start. The nose would be considered above average and enjoyable, yet straightforward at the same time. It should be noted that this Small Batch Bourbon provides the best nose for this price point.
When you taste this Small Batch Bourbon, you start to feel the oak and vanilla dominance from the start. The oak flavors are blunt, and the vanilla is on the sweeter side. The roundness of its mouthfeel makes this small-batch a joy to sip. Even though you will not feel bombarded with flavors, this Small Batch will be an overall enjoyable drink.
You should expect much heat from this Small Batch Bourbon as it has only 47% ABV. You will indeed feel a cinnamon and oak aftertaste that lingers for a long time after the sip. The finish of this Small Batch is between average and good.
Most of the brands from Heaven Hill share a prevalent origin. This common origin is a huge reason why most of these brands have a ubiquitous flavor profile. Moreover, you will find that most of these drinks go through a very similar aging period.
According to the Heaven Hill Company, the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon is made from 200 barrels or less and is named after the supposed creator of Bourbon as we know it. Most whiskey lovers feel that Small Batch Bourbon from this company has a robust taste of blunt oak and vanilla and not a complex set of flavors.
This Small Batch Bourbon is the king of value, as it offers the taste you would generally expect from a pricier bourbon. This Small Batch price is around 20 US dollars, while other small batches from Buffalo Trace and Four Roses have already crossed the 30 US dollar mark.
Going for this Small Batch bourbon, you are guaranteed to get a decent flavor profile with oak and vanilla dominance with a welcoming amount of heat. Providing excellent value for money is one reason why the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon has been very consistent and reliable in the past.
It is often said that the best products are not the ones with a collection of features; they are the ones in which all the features work well together. This quote especially holds true for the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon from Heaven Hill.
You will not find complex flavors or a unique color profile in this bourbon, but its combination of a decent flavor profile and palate at the $20 price point is what makes this Small Batch a value king. If you want to go for the best value for money bourbon in the 20 US dollar price segment, there is no better option than the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon from Heaven Hill.
The long legacy and the loyal fan base of this company is the result of their consistent flavor for many years now.