Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dusty Thursday: Hill and Hill Bourbon (1976)

In terms of dusty whiskey, Los Angeles is pretty much shopped out.  It's been a long time since I found a good, old bottle on the shelf.  Even the dusties I left behind are long gone.  These days, I'm pleased to find even a bourbon with a mediocre reputation if it's from the old days, and so there's this.

Hill and Hill was a lower end National Distillers label that is no longer around.  This bottle is a half pint circa 1976 that I picked up in the San Gabriel Valley.  It cost me all of $4.

Hill and Hill Bourbon,  4 years old, 80 proof (40% abv)

The nose is pretty decent with some brandy like sweetness and some solid rye spice.  It actually smells like it has some age on it.  The palate is also nice and spicy with some wood notes and a nice sweet, caramel note at the end.  The finish retains that sweetness and again gives some brandy type notes.

I expected this to be terrible, and it's actually quite good.  Despite the age statement, this tastes much older than four years; it has that rich, caramel flavor that I've seen in older bourbons from the '70s.  I'm guessing this one is a glut whiskey, filled with older stocks that the distilleries didn't know what to do with back when bourbon supplies far outstripped demand.  It just goes to show, you shouldn't make assumptions based on the label.  I could drink this stuff all night, and that's what I call four dollars well spent.


Alegro Borracho said...

Sku, I agree, this is Hill and Hill is a delightful find. I filled a box with these a few years back when the dusty pickings were still good and enjoy cracking one every once in a while. It make a good Manhattan cocktail.

Mr. Sausage said...

This was Leo Gorcey's preferred tipple. By all acounts, he could have single handedly kept the brand afloat if he hadn't already been doing so for years.
A good find, Sku. I wish I'd benefited from the whiskey glut...too busy drinking beer in the eighties.