Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon – Review

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old BourbonElijah Craig 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

94 Proof

Price Point: $20 – $30 for 750 ML

Distiller: Heaven Hill Distillery



Bloggers are an interesting breed.  In a perfect world, we would all be completely objective and just give our readers the facts.  In the real world, we are entirely subjective, and are really only sharing our opinions.

When I began to see review after review giving high marks to Elijah Craig 12 Year Old, a bourbon that costs $25, I became a little skeptical.  These reviews were beating out scores for bourbons at 2-3 times its price point.  In my confusion, I just assumed nobody wanted to give it a low score only to be mocked by their peers.  So I picked up a bottle of this very unassuming looking whiskey and gave it a try to see just how objective my fellow bloggers can be.



The nose on this one is oaky, with limited rye spice – just the way I like it!  It seems very well-aged right from the get-go, which is surprising for such a cheap (price tag, not quality) whiskey.

This is a really tasty bourbon, with lots of vanilla and corn sweetness.  Reminiscent of brands like Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare in that they are all pretty straightforward bourbons.

The finish is smooth and slightly smoky; very satisfying.  This is a good whiskey to sip on the porch on a summer evening.


Rating & Recommendations

I really enjoy Elijah Craig 12, and was pleasantly surprised to find a really nice bourbon for an out of this world price.  I rate this stuff an 88 out of 100.

This bourbon is an excellent value – you are getting top-notch bourbon for a bottom-shelf price.  Would absolutely buy again!




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    • Charles Shaulis on March 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm
    • Reply

    Good evening, Ryan.

    Back in January, I was browsing the bourbon aisle in my local agency liquor store for a new bourbon to try and found several dusty bottles of Elijah Craig Small Batch 12yo on the bottom shelf, where the low-end bourbons reside. I thought it strange that a bottle of 12 year old small batch bourbon should be priced at $20, when other younger or no age statement small batch bourbons were priced in the $33-to-$50 range. I bought a bottle anyway, figuring I could use it for 94-proof mouthwash or charcoal lighter if I didn’t like it. When I got home, I poured 2 ounces over ice and took a first tentative sip. Needless to say, the Elijah Craig Small Batch 12yo is still my #1 go-to “rocks” bourbon. I can’t do any better than you in describing the nose-palate-finish characteristics, other than saying that it’s just about as complete a bourbon as you’re likely to find anywhere. It’s just plain good to drink. FYI – Whisky Magazine and Wine Enthusiast give it a 95.



    • Tim Smith on October 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm
    • Reply

    Try as I might, I cannot find a better bourbon for the price. This one has it all for me – a hefty, well-rounded bourbon for an incredible price. I don’t know what I will do if they ever stop making the stuff.

    Cheers to all!


      • Larry C. on February 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm
      • Reply

      Tim, have you tried Old Forester signature? Here in Louisiana it’s available for $3 less and I find it a better Bourbon. I do like Elijah Craig 12, though.

    • Michael Bourbon on August 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    • Reply

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. For a $25 price tag in OH, this bourbon is worth much more but don’t tell them that! This is definitely a staple in my modest cabinet. Ryan nailed it on the head!

    • Jay M on February 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply

    I truly like the Jefferson’s but the price is getting a little high , so I was trying out some different bourbons(four roses,eagle rare,bulleit) I find the Elijah Craig 12yr very pleasant to sip. May try the Old Forester signature next , just to keep my options open

    • Peter on October 15, 2015 at 9:54 pm
    • Reply

    Hancock and Black Ridge have been a couple favorites of mine, I just tried Elijah Craig 12yr and like others here I am really enjoying it.

    • explorer700 on May 20, 2016 at 8:15 pm
    • Reply

    I am new to the bourbon tasting community! I have tried everything under $40.oo per 750 ml. bottle! Elijah Craig is a real winner, all around! Terrific aroma and just a little hot going down! The bottle goes quickly when my friends show up! I love the taste!

  1. Formerly an Elijah Craig customer.
    What idiot changed the bottle style. The ‘First Bourbon Made” and the bottle style has to be changed.
    Sorry to leave, but go back to your original bottle.

  2. Why was bottle style changed?. I was a former customer until the change. Will return when original bottle returns, Marketing comment: change was dumb.

  3. New Bottle..Losing me as customer.

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