The Elijah Craig brand has been around since the 1950s. It is named for Elijah Criag, an early distiller, who happened to be a Baptist Minister in Georgetown, Kentucky in the 18th century. In the 19th century, Kentucky distillers, who were fighting the Prohibition movement decided he should be recognized as the “creator” of Bourbon whiskey. The title has stuck despite the dubious nature of the claim. Heaven Hill has taken the brand and built it into one of their flagship brands. They have various expressions of the brand, – single barrel, small batch, barrel proof, extra aged and recently added a toasted barrel finish to the lineup. I recently acquired a bottle of the toasted barrel whiskey and Matt and I sat down and tasted it. Here are our tasting notes.

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel

Proof: 94

Age: No Age Statement


  • Mike: Toasted marshmallows, vanilla and oak wood. Not a complex nose, but very pleasing.
  • Matt: Marshmallow, blackberries and oak wood.


  • Mike: Caramel, toasted marshmallows, apples, black pepper spice and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry reduces the marshmallow flavor but enhances the apple fruit. Tasted with a pecan and the pepper spice is enhanced.
  • Matt: Vanilla, chai latte, tea and oak wood. The dried cranberry brings out the tea leaves, lemon grass and vanilla. The pecan added cocoa and nutmeg to the mix.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak wood and pepper spice. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter with less pepper spice. The pecan made the finish long and dry with lots of oak and pepper spice.
  • Matt: Medium long with oak, tea and pepper spice. The dried cranberry shortened the finish. The pecan added nutmeg spice and a lingering fruit note.

I would pair this fine Bourbon with a cigar that has lots of vanilla and cedar spice in the smoke. I would reach for a RoMa Craft Neanderthal cigar.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller