Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C921 is a Wonderfully Hot and Flavorful Experience

Review by Mark Pringle |

83 Highly Rated Bourbon General Review of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C921

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C921 makes up for the disappointment that was B521. I knew the minute I opened this 12-year-old beauty that it was a different bourbon than the previous release. 

If you are looking for a traditional caramel and almost butterscotch rich bourbon, then you can’t go wrong with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C921. However, this is not the smoothest bourbon in the world so expect a healthy amount of heat.


Rating: 83


Ratings breakdown based on a 100 point scale.

  • 90-100 Exceptional
  • 80-89 Very Good
  • 70-79 Average
  • 60-69 Below Average
  • 50-60 Drain Pour

Detailed Tasting Notes

Nose Review - Rating: 86

The rich buttery caramel aroma saturated the air from the moment I opened the bottle. Initially, there was a little bit of ethanol covering up the aromatic nose, but after 30 seconds, the alcohol smell dissipated, and the full aroma of the bourbon was released.

Palate Review - Rating: 87

The palate is a spicy hot, chewy caramel that could be exceptional if Bourbon was smoother. C921 is not the smoothest Bourbon in the world, but honestly, that seems to be its only drawback for this traditional Bourbon. Even at a proof of 120.2, it seems to drink hotter. Of course, this is the first pour, so I expect (hope) it will become a little bit smoother in time. Still, while not the highest proof I've had this year, it drinks the hottest. The mouthfeel is a little oily and has a peppery spice that may come from rye. However, with a mash bill containing only 10% rye, the heat might come from the ethanol. Whatever the case, it works.

Finish Review - Rating: 82

The sweet pepper spice finish is good and lingers.

Uniqueness Review - Rating: 82

I will say that a Bourbon this HOT which still allows the flavor to come through strong is unique.

Value Review - Rating: 78

It is so hard to gauge the value of bourbons in the mid-60s price range. I paid $64.99, but the price point is close to the bourbon's experience in today's market.

Author: Mark Pringle
Smell IS taste. I am just a guy who has been hit with the bourbon bug and who has come to the conclusion that life is too short to drink average tasting bourbons. Go Gators!
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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