Distiller: Heaven Hill. ABV: 50%. Age: 10 years. Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley. Price: $25-30.
The Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is an increasingly rarity: a high-quality, age-stated bourbon that comes at a very reasonable price.
As a single barrel, there’s always going to be a certain amount of variation, but the high quality of these has been very consistent. I found this particular bottle at the back of the shelf of a local store, and it turned out to be from a batch that was distilled in 2002. I was excited to check it out.
On the nose are notes of freshly cut wood with a very small hint of char (like laser-cut wood), mixed with warm new leather that’s been sitting out in the sun. The palate starts with medium sweetness, combined with herbal spices and cinnamon notes that provide a pleasant dose of heat. All of this is layered on top of a lovely base of dampened oak.
This was a good barrel indeed, and it reminds me why I always come back to this great bourbon, especially given its price point.
Cheers! – JTR