As part of the Toronto Whisky Society, we had a small getogether and drank our fucking faces off.
Like gentlemen and ladies and all that shit, you know? All hosted by one of our members, /u/devoz and his amazing wife.
Each of us brought a bottle to drink. And that was too many. So I understand if you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Or two.
We started, as we all should start, with a questionable whisky of lower proof and reviews that were… iffy.
For awhile now I’ve had my favourite bourbon in my flair, and a few people keep asking me about it.
The bourbon, incase you somehow can’t read it due to not being on reddit right now (reading this elsewhere) or just don’t want to look up.
A few years ago I found out that Cadenheads had gotten their hands on a cask of bourbon. So when I showed up in Edinburough and asked for their 15 year, they of course told me they were sold out.
But still had Heaven Hill 11 Cadenheads in stock. So I bought half a bottle for my father, a bigger bourbon fan than me. And then I tried a free sample.
And then I went back the next day and bought a half bottle for myself. Because I couldn’t get it out of my head. At all.
When I later had George T. Stagg 2012 on the same trip, I was surprised I liked this one more. And later had my flair changed. And lots of questions were had. Like, what the fuck is that you blabbering fool?
So Cadenheads went to Heaven Hill, and bought a cask of their bourbon. It counts as a bourbon because it was aged in Kentucky for at least 3 years. They then finished it’s aging in Campbeltown for an additional 6 years, and then bottled it.
There have been other Cadenheads releases of Heaven Hill Bourbon. There probably won’t be another one for a long time, because last time I was there I asked about it and they said that bourbon is now too popular to procure another cask.
So of course I opened this up once I had enough whisky nerds in one place to truly enjoy it. And gave my father the other half. Totally not reluctantly.
Price: N/A at the LCBO (Paid 30£ a few years ago for half a bottle)
Region: 5 years in Kentucky and 6 years in Campbeltown, Scotland
Colour: 5YR 5/10
Nose: Mesquite, the fruit aisle in summer, burnt sugar, bergamot, bee wax candles burning, floral, honey cruller
A lot going on here. Lots of honey and floral notes that mesh into the fruit quite well. Tons of offbeat notes for a bourbon.
Strong smoke notes as well. Really fantastic notes on this one.
Taste: Honey, butter, Mexican vanilla extract (strong, better tasting), visiting a beehive and breathing in the hot air, lime, caramel, peach tarts, vanilla ice cream
More honey. Lots of honey. Very warm, but it works. On my next times through (I re-reviewed this after the tasting to give myself more time with it), it’s so tasty.
I believe most of us complained more about not wanting to swallow than all our exes combined (we’re all guys, save for /u/devoz‘s wife, but I want to be inclusive so I’ll say hers too).
Finish: Soap, Sprite, cinnamon, brown sugar, orange rind, smoke, dusty, basil, mint, walnuts, flowers, goat cheese
The finish starts oddly, but then just grows and grows. Super long. The closest thing I can compare it to is when an ex-Sherry cask Scotch has tons of different flavours that go all over the place. This does that. You have to stop writing things down because it just keeps changing.
Conclusion: So you have a unique, honey filled nose that sets off memories, a taste of pure sweets and more honey and more memories, as well as desserts, and then a wacky, all over the place finish that has multiple individual flavours that is super long.
Gee, I wonder why I love this so much.
Sure, there are some inconsistencies with the finish and the taste. And one could argue that it takes the Heaven Hill profile and does some crazy stuff with it. It’s still the best Bourbon I’ve had to date. Super complex, lots of great flavours.
I do dock marks for the finish missing some overly complex complete notes, and the nose for being very centred with honey. However this is still worth it, if you get the chance.
Bourbon review #148, Kentucky review #102, Whiskey Network review #828