It has been almost nine months, apparently, since I last reviewed an American whiskey. To make up for that I’m going to make this a week of bourbon reviews. First up, a sample of Heaven Hill’s 6 yo Bottled in Bond release that I got from Michael K. a couple of years ago and have never gotten around to opening. Of course my timing is perfect as it turns out that this whiskey has been discontinued. Or to be more accurate, the 6 yo has been discontinued and is being replaced by a marginally older whiskey that will cost a lot more. This one did not cost much at all, as it happens, being available for not very much than $10 for a long time. On the other hand, it was never easy to get outside of Kentucky—I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a bottle on a shelf. It’s always had a good reputation though and so I’m pleased to finally get to taste, even if I will never get to taste it again, leave alone buy a full bottle, if I like it a lot.
Heaven Hill 6, Bottled in Bond (50%; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Caramel corn along with some orange peel and oak. Very nice. As it sits a bit the oak expands and there’s a leafy note too (reminiscent of the leafy note in some heavily sherried malts). With a lot more time and then a bit of water the oak subsides a little.
Palate: Big woody bite but not at all tannic; instead it’s peppery and then a bit spicy (cinnamon). Some sweetness as I swallow. Nice texture at full strength. On the second sip the corn is more evident here as well and a herbal note (dill) joins the oak and spice. Spicier and oakier as it goes.With water it’s less oaky here too but still quite spicy.
Finish: Medium. Nothing new here as the spicy oak fades out, As on the palate with water (more dill too).
Comments: Nothing very interesting going on here but this is a solid, highly drinkable session bourbon with no flaws. Too bad it’s gone.
Rating: 83 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!