Distilled by one of the USA’s largest producers, Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig is one of the company’s flagship long-aged bourbons, alongside Evan Williams. The eponymous Reverend Elijah Craig was something of a firebrand minister and part-time distiller, who was once briefly imprisoned after his sermons were found to have caused a breach of the peace.
The Revd. Craig’s lasting contribution to world culture was not religious subversion, however, but ironically something rather more mellowing – he is claimed, probably apocryphally, to have been the first bourbon producer to discover the softening effect of burnt barrels in the maturation of his whiskey. This miraculous discovery supposedly came about as a consequence of the minister being too tight-fisted to replace his barrel stock after a fire at the distillery had damaged them.