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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C923 Batch Review SEO

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C923 Batch Review SEO
Reader Rating963 Votes
9.6
10

Review of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch C923)

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof was introduced in 2013 and is released on an allocated basis three times per year: January, May, and September. Each release features a different proof and up until 2023, consisted of bourbon aged at least 12 years. In mid-2023, Heaven Hill announced that they would remove Elijah Craig Barrel Proof’s 12 year age statement and instead now include an age statement that will vary per release.

Each batch is identified by a four character batch name. The first character in the batch name designates which batch of the year that bottle came from (A, B, or C), the numeral that follows represents the month of the release, and the last two digits indicate the corresponding year of the release.

Nose

The bourbon opens with a beautiful sangria bouquet that is anchored by a dense oak scent. An acute red raspberry scent stands out the most, but it’s the aroma’s layers of red wine soaked fruits of blueberry, lime, plum, and nectarines that truly elevates this nose like few others. It’s love at first whiff, as the mix of fruit, thick heavy caramel, and charred oak combine to a near-flawless effect.

Palate

The palate’s delivery seems straightforward at first, though as it slowly pulls back and reveals itself, it is anything but. The intensity of the proof begins to be felt immediately as the flavors are forceful and potent right out of the gate. Dark red raspberry and black cherry combine to formidable results with a layer of sweet barrel char that adds texture, while black pepper and cinnamon add pungent spice. The palate’s complexity is fully known with the reveal of hazelnut, barrel aged maple syrup, and coffee bean. All of the flavors work in a complementary manner and its full effect is impressive as a result.

Finish

An upsurge of rich charred oak hits fast and has a strong fiery grip. As it holds, molasses combined with brown sugar do their part to effectively tame the sip. It is the inclusion of warm brownies that carries this bourbon to the finish line and it beautifully caps it off in an enthusiastic embrace. The finish’s dark sweet flavors combined with a receding emphasis on heat works incredibly well as the bourbon reaches its coda.

Uniqueness

When Heaven Hill announced Batch B523 they dropped the news that Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases would lose their 12 year age statement going forward. Batch B523 is an 11 year, 5 month old bourbon which immediately distilled fear in bourbon drinkers that their beloved brand would be skewing younger, and not older, as the result of this decision. Heaven Hill wisely made a note at the time that the final release of 2023 would see the oldest age statement for the brand yet.

True to their word, Batch C923 features an impressive 13 year, 7 month age statement. I noted in my Batch B523 review that relaxing the constriction of the 12 year age statement would allow a greater degree of blending freedom. As a result, Batch B523 was a unique expression for the brand that seemed to be stuck in a creative rut. In fact, tasting all three of the 2023 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batches side by side shows the dramatic transformation with an increase in quality, but also unique characteristics missing from the brand’s batches over the last few years. The change is very apparent directly comparing Batch A123 to C923, with the aforementioned batch much more astringent, tannic, and overall less impressive in every regard. And though C923 isn’t as full-on unique as B523, its collection of flavors, intensity, age, and how they all come perfectly together is what makes this bourbon special.

Value

Usually, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is well worth its $70 MSRP regardless of the batch. Heaven Hill is a storied Kentucky distillery that makes a lot of great bourbon. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof has had a few years of forgettable batches, but pound for pound, it’s almost always a solid value buy. Of course all of that changes when Heaven Hill releases a batch that is head over heels better than the previous ones. There are times when consumers benefit from consistent pricing from producers who don’t price based on the quality of a given batch (that’s left up to the secondary market).

When a batch comes around like Batch C923, consumers really make out. It’s actually surprising that Heaven Hill chose to bottle this batch for a standard Elijah Craig Barrel Proof release. This could have easily been relegated to either a Parker’s or Heaven Hill Heritage Collection release, or even a new brand altogether. Depending on batch size, Heaven Hill likely left a lot of money on the table with Batch C923, but perhaps that’s by design. Batch C923 will likely have more buzz surrounding it than any Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batch the company has released in years. Sometimes it may be worth more to show some love for one of your core brands that has been on cruise control for far too long, than investing in another new brand. On the consumer side, purchasing it at MSRP is a no-brainer, and as Batch C923’s reputation grows and its stores become wise, its price will likely grow with it. Though this is one of the rare occurrences if you have to pay double or triple the price, it might still be worth it. Don’t fault the messenger, as anyone who has the opportunity to taste Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C923 will know it to be true.

Overall

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C923 could be the brand’s best batch yet.

If there ever was a bourbon that was created to prove a point, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C923 would be it. That’s not to say there hasn’t been amazing batches of 12 year old Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bourbon in the past, but removing the age restriction in

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C923 Batch Review SEO
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C923 Batch Review SEO
Bottle Info

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Elijah Craig Distillery Co. (Heaven Hill)

Distillery: Elijah Craig Distillery Co. (Heaven Hill)

Release Date: September 2023

Proof: 133

Age: 13 Years, 7 Months

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

Color: Dark Amber

MSRP: $70 / 750mL (2023)

Official Website

Reader Rating963 Votes
9.6
10

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3 Comments

  1. Abled batches, others that were solid but not remarkable, and a select few that were just average. Even those not-as-great batches had a way of coming around once they received some time in the glass. Over the last few years though, Heaven Hill seems to have refocused on improving this brand. The biggest improvement is the final release of 2023, C923, featuring the highest age statement of any release to date at 13 years, 7 months old. And with any booze sporting an age statement at this level, you’ll be paying for it. Prices have been ranging anywhere from $149.99 to $299.99. This price is still less than what bottles were trading on the secondary market for years ago, so feeling good about this purchase is still achievable for retail buyers.

    Summary

    Sure, some caution is understandable with the recent announced change to Elijah Craig Barrel Proof’s age statement policy. Even though an age statement will still be included, it won’t be a consistent minimum of 12 years. Like a lot of drinkers, I’d enjoy Elijah Craig Barrel Proof at 12 years, 7 months, 31 days, and 23 hours old, with an unbroken practice of that statement. However, their anticipated intent is that the majority of batches will feature older bourbon and so far things are trending that way. For the final batch to receive a 13 year, 7 month age statement is a welcomed sign of things to come. I’m already curious what surprise Heaven Hill will have come the inaugural post 2023 batch. This particular batch benefits from its extended maturation, delivering a dense, full-flavored, slightly aged bourbon. From an overall value perspective, it’s a win. But even when considering secondary prices, though expensive, C923 may just be worth it too.

    “I recently tried Batch C923 of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and was blown away. The intense flavors and impressive 13 year, 7 month age statement make it one of the standout batches of this highly sought after bourbon. While there may be some concern over the brand’s decision to remove their consistent 12 year age statement, this batch proves that their focus on older, high-quality releases is paying off. Highly recommended for serious bourbon enthusiasts.”

  2. Umbles however, batch-wise, putting its value somewhat in question (though it was still sticking the landing most of the time). Batch C923 on the other hand, the one-time revival of an Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batch that includes its oldest age statement to date, makes this bourbon very much worth the money.

    I personally enjoy Batch C923 of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. The unique combination of flavors and its complexity make it a standout release. The inclusion of the 13 year, 7 month age statement also adds to its value and makes it a must-try for any bourbon lover. Overall, highly recommended!

    “The review of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch C923) showcases the impressive transformation and unique flavors of this iconic bourbon. From the beautiful nose to the intense palate and satisfying finish, this release stands out among others. The inclusion of a 13 year, 7 month age statement only adds to its value and makes it a must-try for bourbon enthusiasts. Highly recommended!”

  3. Rowns, but Batch C923 indicates that the experiment isn’t over and Batch C923 shows a great trajectory. If you’ve appreciated Batches A123 and B520, and want more of that flavor spectrum, this batch may be your selection of choice. The big question is how future batches will do. Batch C923, though great, is a step down from B520 which is a current top 10-ranking bourbon, but if the brand continues on this path, prospective buyers will have something to look forward to. When you take into account this is an allotted release with a high proof of 136.6, and an age statement of 13 years and 7 months, it becomes hard not to call it a great value.

    Summary

    With the disappointing 12 year old B519, and the fabulous B520 under its belt, Heaven Hill is staying the course of improving its batches into 2023. Batch C923 is a great bourbon in its own right. On the flavor spectrum, it is not as in-your-face as B520, but still brings great intensity and complexity to most, if not all, of the factors that make bourbon great. Its flavors are spot on to what drinkers expect from the brand, but also unique from past batches (and we’d argue better). You really can’t go wrong with this bourbon.

    As a bourbon enthusiast, I have always been a fan of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. Batch C923 is a standout release, with a perfect balance of bold flavors and a smooth finish. The decision to remove the 12 year age statement and include a varying age statement per release has paid off in terms of quality. This is definitely a bottle that I will be adding to my collection.

    “Batch C923 of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a standout release, showcasing a perfect balance of bold flavors and a smooth finish. The decision to remove the 12 year age statement and vary the age statement per release has resulted in a high quality bourbon that is sure to please enthusiasts. A must-try for fans of the brand.”

What do you think?

Written by Olivia Taylor

Olivia Taylor has been writing about bourbon for the past five years and has become an expert in the field. She is passionate about educating people about the history and culture of bourbon and loves to share her knowledge with others. Olivia is also an avid traveler and has visited many of the world's top bourbon distilleries. She is a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the American Whiskey Trail. Olivia is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and holds a degree in English Literature. She currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where she enjoys exploring the city's vibrant bourbon culture.

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