Monday, April 18, 2011

Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond 6 year – Blind Tasting

As I mentioned I've been participating in or hosting blind tastings. Following on the heels of my (provocative) Industry Reviews posting, I'm going to be posting results from a number of tastings that have been going on for the last number of months.

To set the stage, these participants are spread out across the country and conducted their tasting at their leisure over the course of a week. There was no cross-talk about the samples so each entry was submitted without knowing the brand, proof, mashbill or age. To me, this kind of tasting gives an unadulterated impression of what's being tasted and in the end, provides a more true review of the whiskey.

First up is Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond, a six year old bourbon (there's also the standard 4 year version). This bottle is a good base bourbon from Heaven Hill and is actually quite good in my opinion and for about $15, it's a real value to boot. Feedback from participants included:

"Nice mouthfeel, sumptuous, not overwhelming"

"I like it and would buy it"

"Sweet pumpernickel. Where is the ham, swiss, and mayo? Then a little fruit and maybe chocolate come through" (I told this particular joker that this is a serious bourbon tasting, not a deli counter)

"Sweet with a nice thickness. Caramel and more fruit. A nice balance of both"

This is a bourbon that can serve two purposes; mixer and drinker. First, because it's bonded (100 proof) it provides the zip to mixed drinks like a whiskey sour or Manhattan. Second, this bourbon can be served neat, bourbon and branch or rocks. Don't let the price fool you, at 6 years old, this is a good bourbon at a great price. Another Heaven Hill offering for about the same price is Fighting Cock which is 6 years old at 103 proof. Another one I use for mixing but not to drink neat. For some reason, the Fighting Cock is a little hot. If you have a home bar, this makes a good rail whiskey.

The final results broke down as follows out of 11 participant:

95-100 A Classic Whiskey


90-94 Excellent


85-89 Good, Clearly above average


80-84 Average


75-79 Fair


74 and below - pass


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