134.2 proof in the USA boils down to 67.1% abv. The Americans like to keep things simple, which is most likely why they moved away from the old Imperial Proof still occassionally used in England. The Americans just double their ABV, in England the multiplication factor is 1.75. That’s why whiskies from the UK at 100 proof are 57.% abv.
What the Imperial Proof exactly means has something to do the strength of navy rum and gun powder, I believe. When mixed, both had to ignite if their strengths were good. If not, one was of lower quality. Something like that…
Anyway, I really like Elijah Craig. Their 12 and 18 year olds are great whiskies and especially the 12 is easy to get your hands on, even on a limited budget (under € 30 in shops here). When this belter of a whiskey came out, I just had to try it. Together with the Four Roses yadayadayada it made for the kick off of this bottle-share.
Lots of oak, leather and furniture polish, horse saddles. It’s rich and sweet too, with raspberry and quite some dryness.
Very sharp. The 67.1% abv is not well hidden, so to say. Lots of dryness and oak. The dry bit may also be the alcohol of course. Some cork (not in a bad way) and heaps of chili peppers.
The finish is long but not as intense as expected. When it starts to ease a bit the chili comes back. Oak again, with sweet fruits and red cinnamon.
This is a belter. The flavours are not as complex as I expected them to be, but it’s a delicious whiskey nonetheless. I’m not entirely sure if this would be a go to whiskey if you want a ridiculously high proof Bourbon, but it’s very interesting for sure. What I’m trying to say is that I really love the 12 year old, and at less than half the price I’d go for that. This is not a waste of money though.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, 134.2 proof. No longer available at Master of Malt, but it used to cost £ 66.28