Heaven Hill Distillery
78% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 10% Rye
History – “This high proof, Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon was named for Henry McKenna, the Irish immigrant who adapted his family’s whiskey recipe to work with the grains he found in Kentucky. Henry McKenna is one of the longest aged Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys available today, resting in the barrel through 40 Kentucky seasons. Critics agree that this is perfectly balanced Bourbon.”-heavenhilldistillery.com
For those of you who aren’t familiar, “To be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond or bonded means the whiskey must be the product of one distillation season (Jan-June or July-Dec) by one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). The bottled products label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled.”- wikipedia.org
Thankfully Henry McKenna immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Kentucky to give us this wonderful bourbon recipe. Henry McKenna is a favorite among most bourbon enthusiasts. It has won numerous awards including Best Single Barrel Bourbon 2021, Best in Show Whiskey 2019, Best Single Barrel Bourbon 2019, SF World Spirits Competition Double Gold 2019, and SF World Spirits Competition Best Bourbon 2019. There’s a reason for all those awards.
Value – This Bourbon is an excellent buy for its current price point. Two years ago (2020) it was an amazing buy, but it won lots of awards and the price doubled. I’ll still buy this bourbon all day long for $50-$60, it’s worth it.
Appearance – This bottle has somewhat of a plain label, nothing to talk about there. I like the bottle shape, it makes it stand out among its peers. The bottle is corked and filled with a light golden-amber colored bourbon.
Nose – The aroma is very light considering its high proof. I get notes of sweet caramel, light vanilla bean and a very faint old oak smell. The ethanol isn’t overpowering by any means. The smells are really light, so make sure you swirl the bourbon around in your glass so you can get all of those wonderful aromas.
Palate – The first sip will really throw you off. It’s surprising how smooth it is for 100 proof. I like to describe the flavor as complex oak. It’s very smooth and the bourbon is thin, but full of oak flavor. It’s barely sweet, with some light hints of spice. It goes down very nicely. This is a great sipping bourbon. Make sure it’s served neat, don’t water this delicious creation down.
Finish – The finish is long with some heat at the beginning but goes away quickly. You get a quick hit of something warm and spicy, but it goes away fast. The finish mostly leaves a tasty wood flavor in your mouth that makes you want to go back for another sip.
Summary – This bourbon is all around great. It has a great backstory of an Irish recipe with Kentucky grown ingredients. It has a wonderfully light smell. It has a great taste and finish for an affordable price. What more would you want? I think everyone should have a bottle of this on their shelf. I know that I always will.
“This is a bourbon that I will buy over and over and over again and will always enjoy drinking it any way imaginable!”
– John McGowan
Uniqueness – 1-10 – 8
Appearance- 1-10 –7
Nose- 1-20 – 14
Palate- 1-20 – 16
Finish- 1-20 – 17
Value- 1-20 – 19
John McGowan on 9/23/2022
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