It seems like every week we get the dreaded news that a producers has removed the age label from one of their products or the price has doubled.  One of my regular go-to pours may be following suit.

Recently spotted bottles of Elijah Craig in the Grosse Pointe Farms area of Detroit show a conspicuously missing number 12…as in “12 Years Old.”  The fine print on the rear label still shows the age, but I can’t help but think this is a precursor to removing it altogether.  We can only hope Heaven Hill comes to its senses.  Elijah Craig is a 12 year small batch bourbon…the QUINTESSENTIAL 12 year small batch bourbon. It needs to remain that way, shortages be damned.

Now, it’s not a given that the age statement will disappear off the back label as well, but make no mistake: in a time when Heaven Hill is adding the age statement when they’re able (Like with Bernheim Wheat Whiskey), there is no coincidence that it’s once prominent display on the front of Elijah Craig is no more.

Officials from Heaven Hill have since stated the move was to standardize the look of the labels across all Elijah Craig products. That may indeed be the case. But with rumors circulating for the past several months that the supply of Elijah Craig at 12 years old in its price point were in danger of running thin, it can be no coincidence that Heaven Hill has de-emphasized the age of Elijah Craig- once amongst its most prominently stated attributes.  If, as Heaven Hill has stated, the object was to emphasize the differences between each offering (small batch, single barrel, and barrel proof), they have a funny way of doing that, as the font and size of the “Small Batch” writing doesn’t seem to have changed. The only change seems to be the removal of the large red font “12” that has been replaced by a small drawing of a barrel, which in no way accomplishes what Heaven Hill says they are aiming for.   Yes, my fellow bourbon lovers, it appears Elijah Craig 12 Year Old bourbon will soon be just another in a long list of ageless bourbons.


Left is the new lable with no age statement.  The older-labeled 1.75L bottles on the right carry the prominent "12."
Left is the new label with no age statement. The older-labeled 1.75L bottles on the right carry the prominent “12.”