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Heaven Hill releases Elijah Craig 23-year-old

Heaven Hill Distilleries has released a limited edition Elijah Craig 23-year-old single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.

Heaven Hill began shipping the new release into selected markets across the US in mid-August and where it will hit retail shelves during August and September. The new bottling follows up on the success of the sold-out Elijah Craig 20YO single barrel, released in the Spring of 2012, and the Elijah Craig 21YO, released last autumn.

The new 23YO bottling will carry an average retail price of US$199.99 for the 75cl size and, like last year’s 21YO, will be in limited distribution in top metro markets.

The Elijah Craig 23YO shares much of its packaging with its predecessor, including the familiar flask shaped Elijah Craig single barrel 75cl bottle and cork closure with a marbled capsule. Instead of the blue label of the 21YO this year’s 23YO will have a green label, with the 23-year age statement prominently featured in reverse white and gold type in the centre. As with all previous editions of Elijah Craig single barrel, there will be space on the back label where the specific barrel number and ‘barreled on’ date will be hand written.

The new Elijah Craig 23YO will be available in a three bottle case of 75cl bottles, at its traditional 90 proof (45%abv) strength.

At 23 years of age—quite advanced for a Bourbon, which of course must by law age in a new charred white oak barrel—barrel selection becomes of tantamount importance. Barrels that age for that long on the highest floors of the rickhouse, where temperature extremes are greatest, can become too woody or tannic. The barrels for Elijah Craig 23YO are drawn from the middle floors of the rickhouses, where the effects of long aging are mitigated by the more moderate temperature fluctuations. This careful barrel selection, drawn from Heaven Hill’s inventory of over one million aging barrels, means the whiskey offers depth and complexity but still perfectly maintains the delicate balance between barrel and distillate.

“All of the extra-aged limited edition American whiskeys we have released, including the previous Elijah Craig single barrels as well as our Parker’s Heritage Collection and the Rittenhouse 21, 23 and 25-year-old, have quickly sold through to the connoisseur markets,” notes Heaven Hill senior brand manager Susan Wahl. “This release, like the 21-year-old and 20-year-old single barrels that preceded it, will take the consumer on a tasting journey of discovery that will motivate them to move up the line, from the more widely available 12-year-old Elijah Craig small batch, to Elijah Craig barrel proof and on through these more aged, rarer bottlings.”

2 September 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor