Elijah Craig alternative

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Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Sometimesyoudie » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:39 pm

Hello all!

This is my first post and I'm fairly new to the world of bourban. When I was younger I would drink anything without preference but now I'm really trying to narrow in on what I actually like. So over the past couple months I've scoured reviews and bought a few bottles here and there. I had old welled special reserve which I liked a good deal, nothing mind blowing but was decent to sip. I had larceny which was quite good, maybe not exactly what I was looking for but great for the money. I had Evan Williams black which was fine considering it was $10 but it was fairly bland compared to the others. And then I landed on Elijah Craig 12 year. As a disclaimer I've had a couple expensive pours of scotch and Irish whiskey in my day but I really had no idea what I was drinking and really didn't care, but when I tasted Elijah Craig it seemed like exactly what I was looking for in a bourban this whole time. Whatever was missing in everything else I've tried, this one had it. Nice toffee, caramel up front, hair of spice and a smokey finish, in my opinion THIS is what I want to be experiencing at the end of the day. But alas, even though this is a moderately priced bottle I can't afford to drink it all the time.

So I wanted to hear what a good alternative would be that would be close to that flavour but maybe get me a little more in the $20 ball park
thanks in advance!
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Squire » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:31 pm

Hey man, welcome aboard. Heaven Hill only uses two Bourbon recipes, one with wheat (Old Fitzgerald, Larceny) and one with rye (Elijah Craig, Evan Williams and all the other Bourbons they make) so finding like kind versions isn't hard. Depending on where you live HH has a number of 100 proof BIBs, Evan Williams White label, J.W. Dant, HH bonded, T.W.Samuels, J.T.S. Brown and a few others, all of which are kindred spirits. What Heaven Hill has done in the past is offer different labels which feature something to set them apart, age or proof, but all based on the same recipe. In a direct comparison to EC12 the 10 year old Henry Mckenna is a good choice.

So shop around, taste what you find and let us know your thoughts.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Sometimesyoudie » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:57 pm

Awesome i didn't know that! i assumed it was all different recipes. How does the evan williams bib compare? or the white? Theres not a lot of selection in my neck of the woods but i want to find a good cheap go to
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Birdo » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:28 pm

Fighting Cock is a good cost effective alternative to Elijah Craig. Its made by Heaven Hill and bottled at 103 proof, so its a bit of a fire breather, needs ice. I like it a lot better than standard Evan Williams black label.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Vital » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:49 pm

+1 on Henry Mckenna - excellent bourbon, very similar to EC12 but with it's own taste.

It's really difficult to have a whole list of drinks as good as EC12 for a cheaper price on top of it. IMO EC12 is one of the best bourbons there is and is waaaaaaaay underpriced. Comparing to market prices nowadays it should cost around $50. I mean c'mon, what other 12 yo bourbon that everyone loves and always recommends can you buy at around $30 ?? In Brooklyn, NY they actually go for $24. It is impossible to find a cheaper copy never mind cheaper AND better. Again - my opinion only, I'm sure someone finds regular pos Jim Beam to taste better.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Squire » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:34 pm

The Evan Williams White label BIB is being promoted nationally so it's fairly easy to find. Trading on the EW brand name it tends to sell for a bit more than the other BIBs. There just isn't enough difference between Heaven Hill BIBs so I buy which ever one is on sale or sold at the best comparative price. If you can find it my first pick of the bunch is the 7 year old 101 proof Virgin Bourbon.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Scott » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:52 pm

I also like the Elijah Craig and reading these posts makes me realize I haven't had it in a while and think I need to give it another try! My two favorite bourbons in the $20 range, at least here around Kansas City, are Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey 101. However, I wouldn't necessarily say either tastes a lot like EC but both are very good in their own right. The Buffalo Trace is a bit spicy, but not in a hot way, while the WT 101 is more earthy, rounded and full flavored. Both are great bourbons and are outstanding for the price. If you haven't had them, you really should give them a try. Someone else recommended the Fighting Cock, which also is a good bourbon for the price, but it definitely packs a punch and is a bit hotter than the two I suggest above.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Birdo » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:40 pm

Scott wrote:I also like the Elijah Craig and reading these posts makes me realize I haven't had it in a while and think I need to give it another try! My two favorite bourbons in the $20 range, at least here around Kansas City, are Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey 101. However, I wouldn't necessarily say either tastes a lot like EC but both are very good in their own right. The Buffalo Trace is a bit spicy, but not in a hot way, while the WT 101 is more earthy, rounded and full flavored. Both are great bourbons and are outstanding for the price. If you haven't had them, you really should give them a try. Someone else recommended the Fighting Cock, which also is a good bourbon for the price, but it definitely packs a punch and is a bit hotter than the two I suggest above.


Nice! I grew up in Overland Park and have noticed prices are high there, do you buy on the Missouri side? In Kentucky, I've been spoiled by choice and price. Since you like the Wild Turkey, you might like Knob Creek and Old Grand 114 proof also. Just an idea. Cheers.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Sometimesyoudie » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:41 pm

So I just picked up a bottle of Evan Williams bib white. It's VERY nice for the price ($12). It's got a lot of the same flavor as Elijah Craig but it's definitely spicier. It's got more kick, higher proof obviously. But it's got more of a corny type taste. Does that sound right? The Elijah Craig is very sweet, Carmely and toffee type flavor and this ones more earthy spicy type. Aren't these the same mash bill? What accounts for the different flavor?
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby Squire » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:02 pm

The difference is due entirely to barrel selection by the tasting group. With hundreds of thousands of barrels of different ages located on various levels in numerous warehouses Heaven Hill has a huge stock at there disposal to create different flavor profiles and keep them consistent.

HH BIBs like Evan Williams White label are sort of the country cousins of more urbane family members like Elijah Craig. Certainly related (same mashbill) but EC is more polished, sophisticated and refined.

Of all the major distillers I believe HH does the best job of offering such distinct choices while keeping the prices user friendly.
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Re: Elijah Craig alternative

Unread postby fenderbender4 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:32 am

Yeah, I don't know where you are but a local liquor store in MN is selling both Henry McKenna BIB and EC12 for $19.99.

I kind of went/"am going through" a "cheap" bourbon tasting. I agree with the JW Dant. Suprisingly good at it' price. But if you find EC12 at $19.99 I think it really is the best thing you can buy at that price. Is is just me or Henry McKenna "brawnier" than EC12? I know is EC12 is aged more but from memory Henry McKenna just seemed...more stout (not in reference to the type of beer)?
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