Monday, October 27, 2014

Henry McKenna from Everson Royce

Today, I'll taste a bottle of Heaven Hill's Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond Bourbon bottled for Everson Royce in Pasadena.

Henry McKenna BIB 10 year old Single Barrel, Barrel 6386, 50% abv ($28.50)

The nose on this is really great with caramel and oak.  It reminds me of the nose on the old Elijah Craig 18 year olds.   The palate follows through well; it starts with that nice sweet/oaky balance, and then turns nicely spicy and earthy which is what sticks around into the finish.

This stuff is just really good bourbon. It's complex and rich, elements that are lacking in so many of today's bourbons.  Heaven Hill clearly still has some wonderful barrels in its massive warehouse.

The Whiskey Jug blog recently asked a number of whiskey fans (myself included) what they wanted to see from the whiskey industry.  Most of the answers boiled down to good product at a reasonable price with honest information and no gimmicks or inflated back stories.  Well, here's a prime example.  At a time of the year when people are searching the world over for the privilege of overpaying for a single bottle of Pappy or BTAC, it's comforting to know that you can walk into a liquor store today, pay less than $30, and go home with a great bottle of bourbon.

Disclaimer:  The sample I tasted was given to me by someone who is not affiliated with Everson Royce or Heaven Hill but who received a free sample from the store.


Sam Komlenic said...

Heaven Hill owns the Bottled in Bond market and is responsible for a surprising number of selections in the category, all of them very good to outstanding.

Bottled in Bond is becoming my go-to category (when I can find it...we only have OGD here in Pa.). The standards that make BIB what it is place the category a step above "straight" and I have yet to be disappointed with the price/quality ratio of any I've had.

The Henry McKenna, at 10 years and single barrel to boot, is among the very top-tier of this category, and all for less than thirty bucks. I grab it when I'm in Virginia visiting my daughter.

I'm also looking forward to bringing the subject up with BIB protagonist Bernie Lubbers during WhiskyFest New York this Wednesday evening!

Curt said...

"It's complex and rich, elements that are lacking in so many of today's bourbons..."

Couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Sam, have you tried either of the Heaven Hill branded white or gold label BiB? Believe the White label is 6yo while Gold is perhaps 4yo. Funny how neither appears on the HH web site.

Sam Komlenic said...

Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond 6 year (white label) is my favorite American whiskey, period, and the gold is not far behind.

Both good choices, and I'm actually glad they don't appear on the HH website. More for us!

Anonymous said...

BTW Sam, did you get down to Bristol for some Dad's Hat Straight Rye Whiskey?

Andrew G. said...

Sku, this is really good to know. I got a bottle of McKenna BIB this past summer and it was pretty good. I'm willing to pay a few extra for a selected bottle, especially given your recommendation. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

barrel 1323 10-6-03 wasn't very good.
it felt like the entire middle of the whiskey wasn't there.
it's hard to explain.
the nose was great. then when i took a sip, i started getting some medicine, and what i felt to be too much alcohol overriding what was in there. and then it seemed like i wasn't getting anything until the finish which was thinner than i would have anticipated and without depth.
just my two cents...

Sam Komlenic said...

Anony, to my knowledge the Dad's Hat Straight Rye was only available at two recent PLCB events. It did not sell out, and the remainder will be available through the PLCB online store soon.

I hope to score one1