Before you even crack open the bottle, you know you have something special in your hands. The color deep and rich in a way that only a well aged bourbon can be. It damned near glows reddish brown.
To truly appreciate the aroma, you will need to give this bourbon a few minutes to open up. While EC12 is only 94 proof, it noses like a much bigger boy than it is. You want to do your nosing in a nice rocks glass, a neat glass, or anything but a glencairn as the nose can be overwhelming.
Even in a wide-mouth glass, the nose doesn’t back down. While there is a very light whisp of smoke, astringent is the first thing that I smell. You know that blue stuff in the barber jar? Yea. That.
Once I let EC open up, vanilla becomes detectable. The way the sweetness and astringent mingle reminds me of amaretto in a good way. A few more minutes and the character of the nose becomes orange and honey-glazed ham, baby.
If you let the glass sit after finishing your pour, it smells so good you could turn it into a glade candle. Sweet, sweet honey and vanilla with no traces of the potency that a fresh pour hits you with.
The first sip is true to nose – a nice tingle (Elijah Craig’s mash bill is 75% corn, 12% rye, and 13% barley) a good burn, and a heavy, buttery texture. The alcohol is unavoidable if you are drinking it neat, but right on its heels you get rewarded with citrus, rum butter, and even apricots!
The finish is bliss. If you dont smile while you enjoy the fruit finish and the syrup that coats your tongue, just go drink vodka.