New: Elijah Craig 20-year-old

Perhaps I should say “old” rather than new: Heaven Hill Distilleries today announced a limited-edition release of Elijah Craig 20-Year-Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. About 1,300 bottles will start appearing on shelves in 36 states later this month and in early June with a suggested retail price of $130 per 750ml bottle.

The bourbon was dumped from 80 barrels drawn from the same lot that provided a special bottling last year to mark the 20th anniversary of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Ky. That 20-year-old single barrel was subsequently named 2011 “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate Magazine.

To maintain warehouse stock levels, Heaven Hill will temporarily suspend bottling of its 18-year-old Elijah Craig Single Barrel, but the distillery said in a news release that it plans to release futured limited-edition extra-aged single barrels.

I’ll certainly give this 20-year-old a try if I have the opportunity, and I have tasted some extra-aged bourbons that I liked, but overall I can’t say I’m a huge fan of overaging. I find that many extra-aged bourbons get too oaky for my taste. What do you prefer?

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The Bourbon Babe