Finally getting to another tasting we had. The theme (because they always have to have a theme) of this one? All Bourbon. No world whisky or scotch allowed.
And after debating the order of multiple bourbons that we all haven’t had, some of which have no reviews online (the horror). And once we agreed that we should look at alcohol, mashbill, and whatever I made up to seem relevant, we decided Heaven Hill 8 Valinch & Mallet Young Masters Collection should go first.
Which is what I brought. Yes, by this point it’s almost become a trope of mine (and not a bad one in this case) that I bought an independently bottled Heaven Hill. I enjoy Heaven Hill’s spirit, I like finding bourbons that were bottled in Europe (as I prefer the flavour profile of flowing flavours over strong, independent flavours that don’t need no man!).
But who is Valinch & Mallet? Other than a short run children’s show about a distillery that I was told wasn’t appropriate and I should leave CBS, it’s an independent bottler. They sort their series by cask, with this one being from The Young Masters Edition.
Based on what I’ve been told, this was watered down, as it came out at 63%. No reason was given, however if I had to guess, it’s young and hot or they didn’t feel the extra helped. Or perhaps there were budgetary reasons. I don’t really know.
What I do know is we should drink this, as it’s whiskey, and that’s what we do. So shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Distilled in: 2009
Bottled in: 2017
Outturn: 275 bottles
Cask type: Virgin Oak Barrel
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Brown sugar, creamy, wood shavings, vegetal/musty
Initial nose of brown sugar and wood, some creaminess. It’s light on the nose. Takes some time to pick things out on it.
I’m thinking the young age plus watering it down ended up hurting the nose here. That said, was quite nice and creamy.
Taste: Carrot, caramel, licorice, turkey, Grand Marnier, coffee
Starts out sweet and earthy, then builds. This needs time. And more time.
That said, patience paid off. There was some orange, coffee, and unique flavours. It is based in earth throughout the taste, so you have some odd combos. But I like it.
Finish: Dill, cream, vitamin C, varnish, cucumber, rosemary
Soft, subtle. Almost like it’s borrowing from other bourbons and mixing them about (I know it isn’t actually doing that). Light, summery, earthy, and can be bitter, though not enough to freak me out.
So in other words, not enough for anyone else to notice, since I’m so sensitive to bitter notes (not bragging, it sucks when it comes to eating broccoli).
Conclusion: The end result was this bourbon was either enjoyed or not. No in between. It’s earthy, unique, and interesting. Some aspects are the normal bourbon aspects, and others are something completely different.
It needs time and effort to pick apart. I’m assuming the full proof was too strong to have the subtle parts, however again, I don’t know that for certain. While I think previous Heaven Hill offerings were amazing, this one is just good, in my opinion.
Bourbon review #219, Kentucky review #138, Whiskey Network review #1409