The Wait Is Over: The Most Anticipated Rye Release of the Year Has Arrived
Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml) ($29.99)
“A modern classic, no doubt, and one that has managed to stay true to everything I expect from Elijah Craig.
No easy feat considering the very high bar I hold for the mark.”
— Andrew Whiteley, K&L Spirits Buyer
Rarely do we wait so patiently and with bated breath for a new release whiskey at a price point under $30, but that’s exactly the case with Elijah Craig’s much-anticipated inaugural straight rye bottling. Well, we can finally say it—the Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Rye is in stock and available. Wow, does that feel good! This wonderful dram has been the subject of much praise and accolades, eventually landing at #7 on Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of 2020 list, and the accompanying 94-point review sums up what we’ve been expecting from this gem all along: “…this rye delivers powerful flavors that feel excitingly untamed, and will impress bourbon and rye lovers alike.” With the amount of anticipation and hype surrounding this release, we are certain to see it fly out the door, so act faster than you ever have before to secure your desired quantities.
94 points Whisky Advocate: “Elijah Craig always impresses with value, but until now has been confined to bourbon. This foray into rye whiskey sticks close to Elijah Craig’s bourbon roots by using only the minimum-required 51% rye in its formulation; however, it does achieve a nice departure in flavor. Aromas include butterscotch, caramel-nut clusters, and peppery spice. The spice ramps up on the palate, carried forward by the full body, hearty proof, and mouth-coating texture, as cherry cola, baking chocolate, and darker fruits emerge. Priced a notch below comparable peers, this rye delivers powerful flavors that feel excitingly untamed, and will impress bourbon and rye lovers alike. *Ranked #7, Top 20 Whiskies of 2020* (JL, Winter 2020)”
Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 06, 2021
I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Elijah Craig Rye since it was first released to limited markets in the U.S. in early 2020. Over a year and many prominent awards and critical reviews later, it feels like I’ve waited a lifetime. Fortunately, now that it is actually in my glass, it has actually lived up to my expectations and the hype. It has fully delivered on the value proposition that is the Elijah Craig brand, a move that makes Heaven Hill one of the greatest in the business. The whiskey is bursting with flavor; rye obviously takes center stage, but it is so well supported by the high corn and malted barley content that it never overshadows its co-conspirators. Sweet spice (i.e. not peppery spice) envelops the palate. Generous toasted oak leans towards coconut. The caramels and vanillas are also there; I want to say prominent, but it isn’t the right word, because while it’s robust, there are no hard edges. It’s a rounded rye in style and texture. At 94 proof (the same as EC’s small batch Bourbon) it has the easy drinkability I associate with the brand without missing the punch so many modern whiskey fans love and expect. A modern classic, no doubt, and one that has managed to stay true to everything I expect from Elijah Craig. No easy feat considering the very high bar I hold for the mark.