Jump to content
flahute

Elijah Craig 18

Recommended Posts

flahute

There's a thread about prices, but not about the bourbon itself (that I can find) so I'm starting a new one.

What say you those who have tried it? I had my first ever taste of it today. I purchased a bottle and cracked it right away to find out if I like it enough to grab a few more before they go away. First impressions are very good. My primary concern was how oaky it would be because I'm sensitive to that. (EC21 tastes like sawdust to me). I took the chance because John Hansell told me it was considerably less oaky than the 21. I figure that's a good palate to trust generally. He is right. I detect no wood/oak notes in this whiskey. It's definitely EC, but drier, deeper, and less sweet than EC12. For the first time ever I picked up clove in a bourbon. I paid $149 for it and struggle with that price, but it's an exceptional whiskey so I'm happy to have it.

Those of you who have been at this longer than me - how does this compare to the older discontinued EC18's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jazz Nut

I bought two bottles (from the same barrel), and was lucky to find out that the bourbon is actually really good.  I don't find it too oaky, even in the finish.  Great flavor, very deep, some spices, vanilla, and cinnamon/clove in the finish.  Great nose.  I also paid $150, and I feel it's a bit high.  I wish the proof could be bumped up a little bit.  But it's a great sipper and a joy to nose.

The store has one left, and I am considering getting the other bottle.

I have not had the old 18, but I have had the old 21, which I found very oaky and bitter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amg

I paid around $120, which I feel is a bit high for what this is, but I like it. Not over-oaked, but a little varnish-y. I thought it was nicely balanced, and as usual I wish it was maybe a bit higher in proof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2

I agree that it is not overly woody, especially when compered with EC21 and beyond but I didn't find it so much better than EC12 to justify triple or more the cost or even ECBP which I can get for half or less (although admittedly only when I can find it. But it is showing up with some regularity of late). However I am not looking that hard as fortunately there is plenty of ECBP in the bunker at present and EC12 is regularly on the shelves at least for the time being.

Edited by tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
flahute
11 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

I agree that it is not overly woody, especially when compered with EC21 and beyond but I didn't find it so much better than EC12 to justify triple or more the cost or even ECBP which I can get for half or less (although admittedly only when I can find it. But it is showing up with some regularity of late). However I am not looking that hard as fortunately there is plenty of ECBP in the bunker at present and EC12 is regularly on the shelves at least for the time being.

Thanks for your thoughts.  Sounds like everyone has the same experience: nowhere near as woody as the 21, and a really good whiskey.

I think you make a god point about relative value. I had my second pour yesterday and it wasn't as satisfying. Good, but not $150 good. I live in a place where ECBP is abundant and having some of that after the 18 was illuminating. Still need a few more tastes, but am not yet rushing out to buy more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sluffo

Drinking this right now.  I don't claim to have a palette trained to pick out every nuance of taste or smell.  Quite the opposite.  I only know what I like and what it tastes like to me.  I agree that it isn't overly oaky.  About a minute after a sip I get green apple.  Then, strangely, after about 2-3 minutes it changes to a really good sushi aftertaste.  Not in a distinct fishy way, but like a really good high grade sushi way.  Hard to explain, but I really like it.  Weird I know.  Then it goes back to apple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
meadeweber
15 hours ago, Sluffo said:

Drinking this right now.  I don't claim to have a palette trained to pick out every nuance of taste or smell.  Quite the opposite.  I only know what I like and what it tastes like to me.  I agree that it isn't overly oaky.  About a minute after a sip I get green apple.  Then, strangely, after about 2-3 minutes it changes to a really good sushi aftertaste.  Not in a distinct fishy way, but like a really good high grade sushi way.  Hard to explain, but I really like it.  Weird I know.  Then it goes back to apple.

Sushi huh?  Don't think I've ever seen that in a bourbon review before.:huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
16 hours ago, Sluffo said:

Drinking this right now.  I don't claim to have a palette trained to pick out every nuance of taste or smell.  Quite the opposite.  I only know what I like and what it tastes like to me.  I agree that it isn't overly oaky.  About a minute after a sip I get green apple.  Then, strangely, after about 2-3 minutes it changes to a really good sushi aftertaste.  Not in a distinct fishy way, but like a really good high grade sushi way.  Hard to explain, but I really like it.  Weird I know.  Then it goes back to apple.

Just make sure you wash out the glass real well each time! And perhaps stop doing whatever it is you are doing with those glasses in the first place... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sluffo
7 hours ago, meadeweber said:

Sushi huh?  Don't think I've ever seen that in a bourbon review before.:huh:

Told you it was weird.  It's not fishy at all but it definitely reminds me of real good sushi.  Maybe smoked salmon.  I've never tasted that in another bourbon either, but every time I have a pour of this the taste is there and I like it. 

6 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Just make sure you wash out the glass real well each time! And perhaps stop doing whatever it is you are doing with those glasses in the first place... :D

What I do with my glasses in the privacy of my own home is no concern of yours, sir.  :wub:

I always use a fresh glass when I drink so I don't think that's it, but it's good advice.  Just my strange sense of taste I guess.  We'll see if the flavor evolves over time.  I've only had the bottle for a few weeks and only had three pours from it.  This is why I don't try to keep pace with experienced reviewers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thebwood

I bought a couple bottles at $129 the other night.  I was literally shocked to find them.  Not on the shelves of course, but showing as "in stock" in a state run liquor store database.  I got to the store, dutifully asked about EC18 because I didn't see it out, expecting to hear it was reserved or already gone.  But much to my surprise, they said "Oh I think that is sitting in the back." 

Cracked a bottle open tonight, and my first impression was "Thank God, this feels like a premium bourbon."  $129.99 premium? I don't know anymore.  Prices have soared so much in the past couple years, especially the past 12 months.  Increasingly, I find myself paying for things I would've thought ludicrous a short time ago because limited edition stuff is so scarce.   In any event, on to the tasting.

The nose is undoubtedly Elijah Craig (EC12 is one of my main pours week to week), but softer, more refined.  EC12 has big cherry notes on the nose for me.  I still get that, but the 18 is cast over with hints of tobacco, maybe a bit of sawdust, with some earthy-green undertones.  I find almost zero alcohol sharpness on the nose, that is normally present on the EC12.  After 10 minutes, things really opened up.  The bourbon felt richer, and more balanced.

The entry on tasting is incredibly delicate.  Actually almost a bit thin compared to the EC12, which I find to be bit viscous.  The usual candied cherry and brown sugar notes are there, but the transition into the finish is much more dramatic.  As others have pointed out, the oak and char is there, but not entirely overpowering.  More than anything, I'd describe the finish as "long."  Which again, makes this feel like a premium bottling.  Also, maybe it was because I read it before tasting, but I swear I picked up some of the fish notes Sluffo experienced.  I think his "smoked salmon" description was spot on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
B.B. Babington

First impressions, surprised at how similar it is to old EC18.  Didn't expect that.  My particular bottle/barrel has more bite compared to the old EC18 and EC21 being used for side-by-side comparisons.  On another day, compared it to Henry McKenna BIB 10yo and McKenna had more bite, the new EC18 seeming much smoother and rounder.  Will need to do more side-by-sides and also try to sample some other barrels to see consistency.  The old EC18 was pretty consistent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tigerlam92

Hopefully not specifically sushi but meant umami?:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jackthedog

I grabbed a bottle at $129. I was shocked they stayed on the shelves for three days while I was away for Christmas. 

I haven't opened it yet but I'm happy to hear the positive reviews. I'm not sure the price is justified but I'm a big EC12 and ECBP fan, so I wanted to try it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
El Vino

No bid from me on this one.  I still have a couple of the old expression in the bunker purchased for $45 or less.  I like it fine.  For $130, I can think of a lot of other things I would rather pour into my mouth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
danz

I'm not buying either, north of about $80.  I've had barrel picks of the old stock, and while they were very nice, they don't warrant these prices in my book.  I just saw it on a local shelf for $250, next to a $850 G.T. Stagg and a $400 Hibiki 17 year.  I couldn't decide which price was the most ridiculous.  Seriously, I don't even look for bourbon any more and I gifted away one of my remaining Old Weller Antiques to my brother in law, who enjoyed it at the distillery, then was disappointed he couldn't find it in the DC area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Black Tot

Limited pricing certainly has an "it's always darkest before the dawn" feeling about it, lately.

I think more and more they're leaning on the less-and-less experienced as well as the addicted (to buying limiteds, not drinking alcohol) to move these bottles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GizmoStudent

Hey Guys and Gals,

As stated by the original poster -
The topic of this discussion is how the new release of EC18 tastes.
The only way to be involved with this discussion is to buy a bottle.

And also stated in the original post -
Is that there already is a separate discussion about the new EC18 pricing.

So, if you want to complain about how the new release is too
expensive for you, then you should vent your frustration at the
discussion about the EC18 pricing and not here were we are discussing
the taste of the latest release of EC18.
Gizmostudent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GizmoStudent

Fellow EC18 tasters,
What barrel number is stated on the back of your EC18 bottle?
The barrel number on my bottle is:  #4112
Great nose and a bit earthy on the first taste but it has opened up really
nice over time and I am happy with this example of an 18 yr bourbon.
Gizmostudent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LCWoody

Good point Gizmo, some people can't separate the two. 

I just finished off a new bottle, and it was good. A little spicier and not as creamy as the older 18y. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
8 hours ago, GizmoStudent said:

The topic of this discussion is how the new release of EC18 tastes.
The only way to be involved with this discussion is to buy a bottle.

Not entirely true. I haven't bought a bottle but I have had ample opportunity to taste several generous pours when I had the opportunity to go to an EC18 tasting put on by HH with Craig Beam. I found it to be a little woody for my palate but a perfectly serviceable $70-80 bourbon in my personal estimation.

Needless to say I won't be acquiring one. And yet I am involved in the discussion. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy

I won't be buying a bottle, yet just became involved in the discussion. 

Until now, I had just been reading the discussion. 

Please, carry on... so that I may continue to be enlightened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Black Tot

Due to the above enlightenment/guidance, I shall keep that I don't buy EC18 based on ridiculous pricing to myself vis-a-vis this thread.

Bourbon aficionados certainly do appreciate a good tellin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GizmoStudent

Well it’s good to know that there are experts in Semantics in this discussion
and you are welcome to join the conversation in any imaginary way you like.

Now to make my post Bourbon related:

I usually do not add water to my bourbon when I drink it but the EC18
seemed a little thicker in viscosity than other 90 proof examples of
bourbon that I have on the shelf.
So, I added a small amount of very cold filtered water into my glass and
let it sit for 5 minutes or so -
Hmmm?  “Now that’s really tasty”
The water seems to have lessened the earthiness and it also brought out
the background “spice” flavors even though the proof had been reduced.
Nice.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jazz Nut
On January 8, 2016 at 1:29:50 AM, GizmoStudent said:

 

Fellow EC18 tasters,
What barrel number is stated on the back of your EC18 bottle?
The barrel number on my bottle is:  #4112
Great nose and a bit earthy on the first taste but it has opened up really
nice over time and I am happy with this example of an 18 yr bourbon.
Gizmostudent

I've got barrel 4174, barreled on 9-11-97.  I bought two bottles, the store I went to had three, and the other sold out.  I like the bourbon, but am leery about trying bottles from other barrels.

On January 8, 2016 at 1:29:50 AM, GizmoStudent said:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sluffo

#4135 from 9-16-97 (opened and tasted) and #4196 from 11-8-97.

 

I no longer get a sushi aftertaste on the finish, but a more earthy/musty taste.  And the finish takes a couple minutes to develop and lasts a loooooooong time.  I also get the exact same finish notes in my bottle of OWA though it doesn't last nearly as long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.