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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C923 | An In-Depth Bourbon Review

Elijah Craig C923

Distillery: Heaven Hill

Proof: 133 (Nice!)

Mash bill: 78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye

Age: 13 years 7 months old

MSRP: $79

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Fool Proof Rating and Summary of Tasting Notes

Color: Very Deep Amber with an almost purple hew (really interesting)

Nose: Sweet and sticky caramel bomb, vanilla, sweet cereal notes, plumbs, and rye

Palate: Caramel, honey, toffee, fried ice cream (very savory notes), figs, dried plums, black pepper, charred oak

Finish: Long (not quite as long as expected though) with Heavy Rye and cinnamon, vanilla, and charred oak

Feel: Extremely viscous and chewy with a great mouth coating.

See below for an in-depth review.

Use my exclusive discount code: WHISKEYFOOL10 to receive $10 off qualifying* orders. Copy and paste to use at checkout.

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For all my tastings I use either the Libbey Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail Whiskey Glass or a traditional Glencairn glass. They both are great for nosing and help in discerning more subtle notes.


An In-Depth Review of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch C923

I have tasted my fair share of different brands and labels, but Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon from Heaven Hill holds a special place in my heart. This bold and flavorful bourbon is a staple in my liquor cabinet and is always a crowd-pleaser when I share it with friends.

What sets Elijah Craig Barrel Proof apart is its unique way of releasing three different batches each year, labeled A (January), B (May), and C (September). I currently have the pleasure of sipping on my bottle of Batch C923, released in September of 2023. The depth and complexity of the flavors showcases the craftsmanship that goes into every batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon.

As a barrel proof, bourbon enthusiast, I appreciate seeing an age statement on each release. This is the first release with an age statement over 12 years. This particular release is an amazing 13 years and 7 months old! This bourbon is uncut straight from the barrel with non-chill filtering, making it a raw and authentic experience. It is bourbon in its purest form.

Having tried most of the releases, I can attest that I have never had a bottle I didn't enjoy. This particular barrel-proof edition has spent an impressive 13 years and 7 months aging in barrels, resulting in some exceptional flavors.

The depth of character in this whiskey is truly remarkable. It's hard to say for sure, but many Elijah Craig fans are already calling this release their best yet. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of this Heaven Hill product, be sure to savor every sip.


The nose of barrel proof C923 is fantastic and very inviting. The aroma is rich with sweet and sticky caramel, complete with hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, and sweet cereal notes. There's also a fruity undertone to it - plums, to be specific - which pairs perfectly with the rye. Every sniff feels like a journey through a complex and layered scent profile. Overall, it's a sensory treat.


When I first tasted Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batch C923, my taste buds were taken on a wild ride of flavor. The palate of this bourbon is packed with an intense array of complex notes that start with the sweetness of caramel, honey, and toffee, but quickly transition into more savory flavors like fried ice cream (sounds weird but it's fantastic).

The deep richness of figs and dried plums comes through, followed by the distinct character of heavy rye and black pepper. As the taste journey continues, the presence of charred oak becomes evident, adding a depth and complexity that makes this bourbon exceptional. I couldn't get enough of the explosive palate of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof batch C923!


When it comes to describing the finish of C923, the first thing that I said was "I thought it would be longer". Don't get me wrong the finish is long. Though it wasn't quite as long as I expected, it still leaves a satisfying and lingering taste in your mouth.

The mix of heavy rye and cinnamon is balanced out nicely with notes of vanilla and charred oak, making for a complex and flavorful finish. Overall, while I had hoped for a longer finish, it is still a quality addition to an already exceptional bourbon.


The mouthfeel is incredibly thick and chewy, with a viscosity that coats the whole mouth and lingers long after each sip. Despite its strength, it's surprisingly smooth and has a certain creaminess that's hard to find in other bourbons. The mouthfeel alone is a reason to give this particular batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof a try.


In conclusion, Elijah Craig C923 is more than just a bourbon - it's an experience. From its complex and explosive palate to its satisfying finish, every sip engages the senses, taking you on a journey through the art of bourbon crafting.

Despite my initial expectation for a longer finish, I found myself captivated by the balanced mix of rye, cinnamon, vanilla, and charred oak. It's safe to say that this bourbon is truly exceptional in its class.

I absolutely love this bottle from Heaven Hill and it's undoubtedly my favorite bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof to date. Thankfully I was able to get 2 bottles at retail. I'm sure this one is going to become scarce.

I give this a Fool-Proof rating of 93%.

Check out my review of Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel here.
Use my exclusive discount code: WHISKEYFOOL10 to receive $10 off qualifying* orders. Copy and paste to use at checkout.

*$100 or more

I would love to hear from you! Drop me a comment below and let me know what you think of this whiskey.

Below are my favorite glasses for doing tastings. The Libbey Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail Whiskey Glass is my favorite because it has a little more heft to it and feels better in my hand than the traditional Glencairn glass does.

Tag: Heaven hill, toasted oak, small batch, high proof, 13 years 7 months, heaven hill, flavor profile, high proof bourbon, great bourbon


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