After my first sampling back in 2003, It’s fair to say that all my previous bourbon encounters up until that point were well and truly blown out of the water, thanks to this outstanding balanced benchmark of a dram.
The nose delivers a series of deliciously deep, decadent, dramtabulous delights. Kicking off with the sensation of a just opened packet of foil wrapped ‘Oreo’ biscuits, followed by dominant yet non overpowering waves of rich oak and thick wafts of vanilla.
Rich comforting glugs of rye infused caramel and spiced Tupelo honey float gently and prominantly to the forefront of the nosing action, before being cheekily but inoffensively upstaged by the sticky sweet delights of a 1950s American candy store on the run up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The aroma from a big slice of apple struddle, drenched in an ocean of custard makes for the next nasal sensation, followed by a lingering infusion of cloves and a jar of thick cut orange marmalade. There’s also the presence of some very subtle kiwi and avocado back notes.
The palate continues to channel in those waves of rich oak and gorgeous thick vanilla, along with the aftertaste you get from crunching on a whole mouthful of brown sugar cubes.
An infusion of rye, winter spices and smoking charcoal make for the next set of sensations, along with a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley and a few caramelised fronds of fennel.
The apple struddle then makes a subtle brief reappearance, but this time the portion size has been refined and it’s been served with a quenelle of Cornish clotted cream.
This is a truly outstanding bourbon, which is pretty much perfect in every possible way. If you’ve yet to discover the delights of ‘Elijah Craig’ particularly the 12, I strongly recommend that you add this to the top of your dramming to do list.