Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof Blend Background
I’m a fan of both Elijah Craig 12 Year and Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof. The Barrel Proof is pretty nice stuff at high-proof and unfiltered, but it’s too hot for me. Drinking barrel proof booze is kind of nutty to begin with, but some whiskey for some reason is more enjoyable than others. Age I assume is one reason, but barreling selection and storage are others. Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof for me is close, but I prefer to cut it with some water.
When reviewing the Barrel Proof bottle I did some experimentation and decided I like it somewhere around 105-110-proof. In my review I noted some mixology with water to hit the mark. I was thinking of bottling up some so I could just pour and enjoy and then I heard about the idea of blending the regular Elijah Craig 12 with the Barrel Proof. So, that brings us to the Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof Blend.
For this experiment I made up two blended samples at 50/50 and 60/40 of Elijah Craig 12 and Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof. I also mixed up a sample of Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof and water. Alcohol on these are about 113.6-proof, 109.7-proof, and about 110-proof for the water.
I let these sit for about two weeks and then sampled them side by side over two days. I also prepared a fourth sample with water on the spot without any befit of “mingling.”
Right off the bat, 50/50 was still too hot for me to enjoy. I prefer lower alcohol on this Bourbon and I picked both the 60/40 and water samples over the 50/50. The 60/40 and water samples were similar, although I preferred the sample cut with water. I felt it had more depth and added complexity. I’m not sure I would notice if the glasses were standing on their own, but side by side to me the difference was clear. It had more of the dark and roasted characteristics and to me was overall more enjoyable.
Lastly I compared the two water samples and I couldn’t discern much difference. It didn’t matter whether the Barrel Proof was cut in the glass or bottled and allowed to mingle.
I was surprised by this, although I guess I shouldn’t have been. I was expecting blending two versions of Elijah Craig 12 would give me something interesting, but really it seems to just dilute the best parts of the Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof. While still at the same proof, adding some water I found retains more of that great uncut and robust flavors than mixing in a large percentage of the cheaper Elijah Craig 12.
Also, I couldn’t tell any difference in how the Barrel Proof was cut with water. In the glass seems just as good as bottling it up. So, while bottling up a batch might be convenient, there was no flavor difference.
Does it Blend?
Nope. Just cut Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof with water in the glass and enjoy.