A new release from Heaven Hill? I know I have your attention, so I will keep this short…
In June of this year, along with the re-opening of the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience, the Distillery announced the release of a new bourbon to pay homage to the five Shapira brothers who originally founded the Distillery in 1935. This whiskey is a blend of traditional Heaven Hill bourbon (78/12/10) that was aged from 5 to 9 years, 1 year for each of the five brothers. It is bottled at 90 proof, a nod to the original proof point of Heaven Hill whiskey in the 1930s, and will only be available at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience and at select retailers in Kentucky for $60.
Appearance – Orange amber.
Nose – The nose is quite soft and subtle at first, revealing some toasted grain, brown sugar, and oak. With time, I began to find more complex baking spice (emphasis on cinnamon), vanilla, dried apple, and some spiced cherry.
Palate – The mouthfeel is average and right up front I was greeted with oak and some honey roasted peanuts. The sweetness intensifies throughout the sip, revealing heavier notes of caramel apple, vanilla, and cocoa, but there is also a mild bouquet a spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) along with a touch of rye spice that begins to develop on the back of the tongue.
Finish – The finish is medium-long and predominantly sweet, revealing peanut brittle and some maple syrup. There is also some baking spice and dried citrus that gives way to a note of freshly shelled peanut and some oak tannins that leave a slightly bitter note toward the end.
Overall – I applaud Heaven Hill for creating a new release in honor of its founders and for using a blend of aged bourbons that is not common for the Distillery. I think Heaven Hill has created a very approachable bourbon with a great back story that makes for a fine collector’s items at $60.
However, this bottle did leave me feeling somewhat underwhelmed. Its a nice blend of whiskey that showcases some of the more traditional Heaven Hill flavors, but in the end I felt that the character and flavor was slightly muted, particularly on the finish. Perhaps I have grown accustomed to higher proof Heaven Hill releases, but this whiskey lacked the depth and intensity that I usually hope for in a Heaven Hill product.
As always, if you’ve tried this product, let me know what you think. Cheers y’all!