Decent if not spectacular. More of an investment than a drinking bottle for the low-life bottom feeders that engage in such a trade as it will no doubt be a limited edition and much sought-after bottle. Yes, I think a Heaven Hill aficionado would enjoy it quite a bit and it is worth trying if you can, but maybe not buying an entire bottle as it is pricey for what it is. Leave it to the speculators and shallow egotists and buy some of their more modestly priced releases for enjoyment.
Notes: Heaven Hill is one of the more prolific distillers when it comes to new releases of bourbon, the only other distillery to release more over the years might be Buffalo Trace with its yearly releases of its “Antique Collection” and its “Experimental Series’. Releasing at least four batches of Elijah Craig and Larceny along with the Old Forester Birthday Bourbons, Parker Heritage Series ( sadly only once a year), along with the Vintage releases of Evan Williams and some occasional surprises, it keeps collectors and writers busy. We ourselves have almost 60 different products from Heaven Hill alone that we at Spirits Review have reviewed over the years, and this does not include many of their many non-whiskey products.
This new series, The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection, promises at least a once a year release of older whiskies of a larger, shall we say nondenominational, range ( not a particular brand profile or a certain age such as the name brand releases or the consistently 10-year-old Evan Williams Vintage release for example). This may be due in part to a few factors such as a shortage of particular stocks for a previous name brand release, or it could be just simply they wanted to widen the potential taste profiles and create a new series that is not chained to a particular profile.
Further teasers on the series are that they will feature all 6 different mash bills that Heaven Hill uses for their various whiskies ( the only distillery to use that many), and 6 different rickhouse sites to choose from. Each release will be at least 10 years old or more.
This, their 1st release uses their traditional Bourbon Mashbill of 78% corn, 10 % rye, 12% malted barley. Further notes are; age statement of 17 years, using the youngest bourbon in the mix as required by law and custom, but an actual blend breakdown of 28% 20-year-old barrels, 44% 19-year-old barrels, 28% 17-year-old barrels. These barrels were pulled from their Deatsville, Glencoe, Schenley, and Heaven Hill main warehouse site locations. Proof is 118.2 which is interesting in and of itself. That proof is in the range of barrel proof, however a touch low for that range? Seems to me like that means a number of barrels from lower floors and central locations in slower aging and more protected warehouses- otherwise the proof could have been substantially higher.
Appearance: Clear gold shifting to read – denoting a fair amount of age to it, on swirling it leaves a light oily coat on the glass then a thickening edge line as it slowly, ever so slowly, rolls back to the bottom. It evaporates and leaves a slight cloud of sediment if you leave it too long
First Impression: A lot of dark fruit notes and some Armagnac-type notes. Some heavy wood and char notes with dryness and some astringency develops more dried fruit, dates, and port notes after a bit. With ginger spice, mango, cinnamon, maple, and myrrh notes
Taste: Delicious, lightly oily body to it with sweet entry, rapidly drying with sweetness, corn maple, butterscotch, and honey notes.
Drinks: Please, you would mix something like this?
Put it in a proper glass with maybe just a splash of slightly warm unchlorinated water.
Bottle: We did not receive a production bottle so cannot comment on much. We do however understand that details such as warehouse site locations and percentage of barrels mingled will be noted on labels and packaging.
Cigars: Connecticut shade wrapper, a Davidoff or Siglo, just a small one, please.
Final Thoughts: Nice if a touch too woody for my taste. Well done and a testament to skillfully blending and balancing of older whiskies to achieve a harmonious whole.
The main distillery website also has their plethora of other brands they either make of import also. A fairly informative site by industry standards,