Elijah Craig, a brand of Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Ky., launched Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The latest line extension from the award-winning Elijah Craig family, Toasted Barrel adds an extra layer of sweet oak complexity to the traditional bourbon, the company says.
The process begins with fully matured small batch, which is dumped and then re-entered at barrel proof into a second, custom-toasted oak barrel designed in partnership with Independent Stave Company. Made with 18-month air dried oak, the finishing barrel is first toasted and then flash-charred using a moderate toast temperature and toast time.
An extensive research and development process resulted in a final barrel toast profile bringing forward dark sugar flavors within the wood to create a balance of smokiness and sweetness after months of finishing, the company says. The resulting taste is big, rich and complex with spice and pepper notes that fade into milk chocolate with a hint of smoke as the finish lingers with chocolate and baking spices, it adds. Only charred new American oak barrels are used throughout the process to maintain the standards of identity class and type designation for Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
“Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel pays homage to our namesake’s pioneering spirit as the first to char oak barrels through thoughtful innovation in the barrel-aging process,” said Max Stefka, Elijah Craig senior brand manager, in a statement. “It was a pleasure partnering with Independent Stave Company to create a custom toast profile and char level designed to best complement fully matured Elijah Craig. Twice barreled for nuanced flavor, Toasted Barrel showcases a Straight Bourbon process unique in the marketplace.”
In 1789, Elijah Craig was the first to char oak barrels to make bourbon, earning his place in history as the “Father of Bourbon,” according to the company. Toasted Barrel celebrates this heritage by pushing the bourbon barrel-aging process a step further, it adds.
Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel is bottled at 94 proof, consistent with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon and Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey, and joins the rest of the award-winning lineup of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Elijah Craig Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
Packaged in the iconic Elijah Craig bottle, Toasted Barrel is distinguished by new bottle decoration, face, side and neck labels with smoky blue features. With a suggested retail price of $49.99, Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel will launch nationally on an allocated basis this September.