Elijah Craig – Allocated vs. Unique

This White Cap/Black Cap Comparative not only presents two really tasty whiskies but is also a little lesson in the difference between allocated and unique.

I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday about the evolution of the industry over the last ten years. It was a conversation that was pre-empted by the presentation of our annual list of “allocated” or unicorn whiskies that has been offered to us, as, as expected, we were missing a few items. The colleague I was speaking to was not completely aware of our historical perspective in this particular component of our industry, so I was happy to enlighten him. Ultimately the conversation was productive, I think, but time will only tell as we progress through 2022.

So, what does all of this have to do with today’s offering? Well, both whiskies are from the same distillery. One is “allocated”, and the other is “unique”. Read on to see what we are talking about.

White Cap Edition – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A121

Heavan Hill Distillery releases three batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof each year. These are twelve-year-old barrels selected from the best of the best, then blended together to create this delicious mouthful of bourbon. Over the years, numerous expressions of Eljah Craig Barrel Proof have showed on all of the known “Top” lists. Most recently, Batch B517 (May release of 2017) was voted Whisky of the Year in 2017 by Whisky Advocate Magazine. It was actually the last “allocated” whiskey that had more than we knew what to do with, because everyone was looking for something else at that time.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room Temperature OR slightly chilled (123 Proof)
  • Other Preparation: None
  • VIP Price at JJ’s – $63.99/bottle
  • Available – Yes, there will be a bottle on the 12/7/2021 bottle raffle

Tom’s Tasting Notes: The truth about Elijah Craig Barrel Proof offerings, they are all amazing and well worth the hunt. This “allocated” bottle is loaded with caramel, notes of toast and sweet apricots. The finish is long and spicy with a nice warm hug.

Black Cap Edition – Elijah Craig JJ’s Single Barrel #3 – JJ Warehouse Barrel

This was the last Elijah Craig Single Barrel that we had purchased right before the pandemic, and it still remains as one of our best. We are hoping to get back on the single barrel train with Elijah Craig in the near future. This was, serendipitously, a barrel that was aged in Warehouse “JJ” for the duration of its lifespan. A fact we did not know until after we had made the selection. Please enjoy this truly “unique” bourbon.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room Temperature
  • Other Preparation: None
  • VIP Price at JJ’s – $39.99/bottle
  • Available – Yes, there will be a bottle on the 12/7/2021 bottle raffle

Tom’s Tasting Notes: You all know I love my single barrel bourbons and other whiskies. I also love comparing them to “allocated” whiskies, because our single barrels are “unique”. So, what’s the difference? Allocated means that someone else is controlling the availability of an item that has been deemed special by the “powers that be”, meaning whiskey writers. “Unique” refers to an item that is one of a kind, which is exactly what our single barrel bourbons are. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. At 94.0 proof this bourbon has a tremendous amount of complexity. Notes of toast, caramel and vanilla on a luxurious, mouth-filling frame.