Heaven Hill Distilleries, producers of Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Barrel Proof Bourbon, are planning a third release of the rare and highly acclaimed bottling during 2014, and are planning three more releases during 2015. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, originally released last year as a limited-edition companion to the mainline Elijah Craig Small Batch 12-Year-Old, will become a recurring but still highly allocated item in Heaven Hill’s American Whiskey Collection portfolio, all drawn from Heaven Hill’s vast inventory of aging barrels, the second largest in the world.
Unlike several other competitive products who bottle at a “standardized” barrel proof of, for example, 125°, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a true barrel proof, with each batch reflecting the actual proof of the small batch of 100 or fewer barrels that make up each “dump.” There were three releases in 2013—at 134.2, 137 and 133.2 proof—one March 2014 release at 132.4 proof, and one May 2014 release at 134.8 proof. Heaven Hill plans on beginning shipments of the third and final dump of 2014 in September, and will release the first edition of 2015 in January.
In just its first year, the brand has captured numerous prestigious awards—including “Double Gold” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, “Extraordinary/Ultimate Recommendation” from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, and “Best Bourbon, Best Brown Spirit in Show” at this year’s WSWA Convention Spirits Tasting Competition. It has also become something of a cult whiskey among Bourbon aficionados, with the combination of extraordinary quality, scarcity and value making it the object of many Bourbon want-lists. It is also a hot topic on Bourbon and American Whiskey forums and blogs.
“We knew beforehand—given the remarkable quality of the small batch dumps, the very allocated nature of the distribution, and the approachable price point for a cask strength 12 year old Bourbon—that Elijah Craig Barrel Proof was going to be real draw for the whiskey aficionado crowd, but the fervor and passion that customers show always amazes us,” said Susan Wahl, Senior Brand manager, Whiskeys, at Heaven Hill. “We are pleased, given this popularity and the overall unprecedented demand for Bourbon, that we are able to continue with releases of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof for the foreseeable future.”
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof will continue to be bottled in the 750ml size and will be available at a suggested national retail price of $44.99.