Review #8 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B520

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery

Proof: 127

Age: 12 Years

Mashbill: 78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye


BACKGROUND: Elijah Craig Batch Proof was brought to market in 2013. It is released 3 times a year in January, May, and September. B520 was the second batch of 2020 launched in May. Elijah Craig bourbon is named for a minister who opened a distillery in Kentucky in 1789. Legend claims that Craig accidentally invented the process of aging whiskey in charred barrels after his barn caught fire but he still used the barrels with great reception from the drinkers.


NOSE: The nose on B520 started with bold and sweet notes of caramel and vanilla followed by some burnt graham cracker. For a barrel proof whiskey it was delightfully smooth with no burn at all. (23/25)

PALATE: Similar to the nose, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B520 is smooth, yet powerful and bold but has no burn that can be there with cask strength whiskies. As soon as the whiskey touched my tongue I was welcomed by bursting and bold flavors of lots of rye spicy followed by oak sugars, caramel, marshmallow, and some vanilla. The mouthfeel was rich and coated my entire mouth. (34/40)


FINISH: The proof really shows up in the finish where there is some heat and it warms you up on the inside. The finish had some really nice flavors of oaky tobacco, rye spice, and cracked pepper. There is a pretty strong ethanol burn as well though. Overall the finish is long and warming and you can feel it work its way through your body. (22/25)

VALUE: The Elijah Craig Barrel Proofs carry an SRP of $65 which is in line with its competition. We think that it is priced pretty fairly given the current whiskey market. We would spend up to $75 depending on the batch. (7/10)

Overall: 86/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: The Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases have been consistently delicious and this one did not disappoint. The bold and rich flavors it carried were very enjoyable and the age showed with some nice oak notes on the tail-end of the palate and into the finish. This is a fantastic cask strength bourbon whiskey and we highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys high proofed whiskey.


Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C919

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Booker's 2020-01 Granny's Batch

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Old Forester 1920


Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!

Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea

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