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According to sources, it’s been leaked that the upcoming batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof for September will carry an age statement of 13 years and 7 months. This batch, known as “C923” will begin to hit shelves over the next couple weeks much to delight of enthusiasts everywhere. No word yet on the proof, although I expect it to be below 120 proof according to recent trends.
What trends? If you look at the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Single Barrels that have been rolling out now for the last two years, it seems as if the barrels drop in proof as they get older. Granted, Heaven Hill might just be selecting barrels of that type for their single barrel program, but with the information that we’ve learned over the past couple years about where these barrels are being aged (near the bottom of their warehouses), that’s not a surprise. I estimate that Batch C923 will come in around 117 proof.
While the age of C923 may cause a momentary feeling of euphoria, let me remind you that this is a typical marketing technique for companies that have made made a recent big change to their products. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof had traditionally worn a 12 year age statement before they took it away with the launch of Batch B523 (which was 11 years and 5 months old). Many enthusiasts were upset with this decision.
So this is my reminder to you that Heaven Hill didn’t take away the age statement of Elijah Craig just because they wanted to give us older products. Quite the contrary. I think we’ll see age statements dip down as far as the 10 year old range in the coming years. We might see an occasional 13 or 14 year release – but those will be few and far between. It’s all about the bottom line.
Old Fitzgerald Fall 2023 release is still happening – this year!
Many of us were surprised when Heaven Hill rolled out with a 10 Year Old Old Fitzgerald Decanter this month. It was wearing the green label and even had the words “Spring 2023” release on the label. So why was it being released after the first half of the year? Heaven Hill has offered us no explanation.
This is why it’s all the more surprising to hear that the “Fall 2023” release is right around the corner – set to be released in December of this year. Better late than never, I guess! But what is up with the timing of these releases? It’s starting to feel like Stagg Jr when they came out twice a year (Spring and Fall) before seemingly getting released a couple months apart from each other at the end of the year. That would cause many of us to freak out that we were only getting one Stagg Jr. release that year. Instead we got two releases that were dropped at the last minute.
Part of the hold up with the Old Fitzgerald may have been the purported “glass shortage” from their German supplier. But Bernie Lubbers told us that this was not a problem anymore. So apparently the program is moving along at full speed. Let’s hope they get it back on the right track and release the Spring 2024 bottle in, you know, THE SPRING.
The Fifth Installment of the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection
Launched in 2018, the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection is designed to give true enthusiasts the chance to taste Heaven Hill’s ultimate whiskies. Since the brand’s inception in 2018, we’ve seen plenty of hits (and maybe a miss). The list goes something like this:
2018 – 27 Year Old Bourbon
2019 – 13 Year Old Bourbon (85th Anniversary)
2022 – 17 Year Old Bourbon
2023 – 20 Year Old Corn Whiskey
I’ll let you be the judge of which one was a “miss.”
Moving back on track, Heaven Hill has announced their next installment of their Heritage Collection. No surprises here as it wears a very old age statement. 20 years to be exact. The proof also looks stupendous for the age – 120 proof if the TTB filing is to be believed. Oak will probably be pentiful and the price is sure to be in the multiples of hundreds. If you want a good alternative, go mix ECBP with Elijah Craig 18 year single barrels. It’ll still give you the oaky kick with some extra firepower behind it.
Regardless, this 20 year old bourbon will be a rare bird that is hard to catch. Happy Hunting!
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