Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond

Maker: Heaven Hill, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Style: Rye recipe, straight bourbon whiskey, bottled-in-bond.

Age: 7 y/o

Proof: 100 (50% ABV).

Michigan state minimum: $50.

Appearance: Medium copper.

Nose: Charred oak, caramel, tarragon, alcohol.

Palate: Full-bodied, and well balanced. Leather, caramel, chilies, pinch of tarragon.

Finish: Field mint, fading into cinnamon disks.

Parting words: This is not the first time I have reviewed Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond. The 6 y/o version was a favorite of mins for many years and I would stock up on it whenever I went to Kentucky, which was pretty frequent back then. I still have one bottle squirreled away in my basement for a rainy day or for some hopefully distant day when I get put into an old folks home. It was a pretty good bourbon, but it was an excellent value. 100 proof, 6 years of age, all for well under $20. It was my house bourbon for many years when company came over.

To their credit, when Heaven Hill decided to revamp their Heaven Hill line, they did add one year of age and give the label a fresh, modern (if a bit dull) look. Not to their credit, they more than doubled the price. HH was known for many years as the distillery of choice for cheapskates like me, because they offered a wide range of pretty good to very good bourbons at several dollars less than their competitors did at the same age/proof ranges. Now, they are unfortunately making a name for themselves by turning their ex-value bonds like Heaven Hill and Old Fitzgerald into super-premium products with prices to match.

All that said, there’s nothing wrong with this bourbon as it is. If it didn’t have the same name as one of the greatest bourbon values of all time, I might be more willing to cut it some slack. But with the almost always superior William McKenna 10 y/o single barrel bonded for only $10 more, it’s hard to recommend the current HH BiB. I’m not sure what the point of it is anymore, frankly. Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond 7 y/o is mildly recommended.

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