Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch 12 Year B522
The first thing to strike you about Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B522 is its rich dark color. Raising the glass reveals a fantastic nose full of a bold rich inviting classic bourbon aroma that signals that this is definitely a barrel proof bourbon. The palate and finish are similar in stature, highlighting spicy and dry scents with just a touch of sweetness. Leaning heavily into its spicy notes, the bourbon borders lines on being almost too hot. They don’t live up to the rich nose but they’re plenty satisfying in their own right. While only 0.2 proof points higher than this year's earlier A122 release, B522 drinks like that proof difference is much higher.
The analogy that keeps popping into my mind is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I still feel like this year's batches are holding back a bit, with A122 seeming a bit more earthy and B522 being a bit more spicy. If the 2022 C batch can dial it in, I think Heaven Hill will hit a home run with the release. In the meantime, if you’re a fan of spicy barrel proof bourbons, B522 will be right up your alley.