In 2018, the collective heart of bourbon aficionados everywhere ached over the loss one of the great value bourbons: the Heaven Hill 6-year Bottled in Bond Bourbon. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this Kentucky-only release was exceptional and you could buy it by the case for less than $100. Unfortunately, Heaven Hill had plans for some of their younger juice and the 6-Year BIB was one of a few brands that had to be put to rest.
In June 2019, Heaven Hill announced that they would be releasing a new flagship product to replace the 6-Year BIB. Like its predecessor, this new release would have the bottled-in-bond designation, but it would also have an additional year in the barrel and a packaging makeover. The first round of this new 7-Year bottled-in-bond bourbon debuted in October 2019.
The mash bill for this bourbon is made of 78% corn, 12% rye, and 10% malted barley. It was aged for 7 years and, as a bottled-in-bond bourbon, comes in at 100 proof (50% abv). This MSRP for this bottle is $40 but I have yet to see it on a shelf for less than $50.
Appearance – medium amber.
Nose – the nose is full of classic notes of vanilla, caramel, and rye and baking spice. With some time I started to find some roasted peanut and some soft tobacco leaf. The nose didn’t blow me away but the flavors were nicely balanced overall.
Palate – light caramel gives way to some oak and a burst of spice mid-tongue. The spice doesn’t consume the pour though and allows some brown sugar to develop and blend with some dry, earthy notes of nutmeg and some tobacco leaf.
Finish – the finish is medium-long with spice lingering mid-tongue, along with plenty of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and oak. At the very end, more of that roasted peanut note developed along with a touch of golden honey.
Overall – When I first heard that Heaven Hill was going to release a new BIB bourbon I was concerned that we were just going to see the same quality bourbon repackaged and sold at a significantly higher price point. I was not entirely wrong. Obviously there was a price increase with this new release, but I personally think this bourbon was a step up from the old 6-year expression. There is not a ton of complexity here, but the flavors are very pleasant and feel more developed than its predecessor, resulting in a more well-rounded pour. I personally would not pay $60+ for this bottle but I do think it is a quality whiskey for the MSRP. Cheers!