Heaven Hill Distillery has relaunched its Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon without its 12-year-old age statement because its popularity means that stocks are under too much pressure.
While retaining the flavour profile, it will now be made with liquid aged from eight to 12 years with no age statement on the label. It also reflects how drinkers are now more aware of how other factors affect whiskey such as mash bill, ABV, provenance and the casks used.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof will continue to carry a 12-year-old age statement while the change in the Small Batch means there will be greater availability of Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel in the future.
In a statement, Heaven Hill said it was making the change “after careful deliberation and with a view towards making the brand available to more, not fewer consumers”.
It continued: “This will allow us to continue to make Elijah Craig Small Batch available and not have to limit its accessibility to consumers or have outages at the shelf.
“Consumer perceptions are shifting. Ten years ago, general consumers did not have a framework for what age meant. On the premium end, the framework was only that extra-aged is better.
“As consumers have deepened their knowledge and exploration of American whiskey, it is all about the taste profile. They are looking at so many other attributes besides age: mash bill, proof, provenance, barrels.”
Heaven Hill’s whiskeys are distributed in the UK by Marussia Beverages.