Death, taxes, another batch of ECBP. All are inevitable, one is preferable.
Faster than you can say, “Pappy 25 sold for whaa”, a new batch of ECBP is introduced. No longer being referred to in the mainstream by their proof, the new batches of ECBP actually come with a batch number now. The newest one is B517 which means May of 2017 (I don’t know what the B stands for, the previous one was A so one can assume this simply means the second batch of 2017). Based on this batch numbering system, I would imagine there will not be a C3PO batch, but that would be cool as hell, especially if it was like this December with the new Star Wars movie (marketing team take note and see how Old Forester paired up with Hollywood recently…just sayin…). Anyway per the Elijah Craig website, all batches have always had batch codes, but they really didn’t start using them until this year.
So yes, there are a lot of ECBP releases. But in all seriousness it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that ECBP is still one of the absolute best deals in bourbon. Barrel proof, 12 years old, and with a price in the mid $50’s, Heaven Hill seems content on keeping the cost the same, which is awesome for the consumer, and awesome for them as this product doesn’t sit on shelves. To me, two bourbons that are comparable in nature are Stagg Jr, and Booker’s. The latter is about 6 years old and does sit on shelves, the former is about 7 years old and underwhelming to me. Of course that’s not to say that every batch of ECBP is stellar, some are not that great, some are decent, and some are really good.
This one, this one right here, is a really damn good release. “The proof went down and the taste went up!” ™® One of my favorite batches of ECBP was a 128.0 batch and this one beats it. This might be the best batch of ECBP that has been released…….so far this month.
The nose on this one is like burnt maple syrup. Coming in at 124.2 proof, it has absolutely no nose burn that I sometimes get on deep whiffs of strong stuff. I like my nose, and I like when it doesn’t burn.
It’s got a delicious taste, caramel and honey, and it finishes forever. Maybe it’s because I’m used to the 138+ commonly found with ECBP, but it’s just such an easy sipper at this proof. Very smooth, very little burn, strong bourbon flavors, and a great price point. What’s not to love? And look, even if you don’t like it, you’ve got about 30 days until you can fall in love with another.
Grade = A