Dec 18, 2015

Henry McKenna 10yo...

Henry McKenna 10yo (50.0%): Ok, bear with me for just a second here: This bourbon I am about to taste is ten years old, bottled in bond, comes from a single cask and costs less than $30..!? Is it just me or does it sound too good to be true? I think we are all at the same page here: This is a hell of a good start to taste a whiskey. Now a little more specific information about what we have on the desk: Henry McKenna is a bourbon from Heaven Hill line up and the brand is named after an Irish gentleman who came to Kentucky from his homeland to settle in 1837 with the idea of distilling his own whiskey in his head. Today the bourbon in the bottle is distilled from a mash bill made of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley like all other rye bourbons in Heaven Hill's portfolio. Therefore I am expecting a similar bourbon to Evan Williams single barrel editions which I am a fan of to begin with anyway. This particular bottle is bottled from barrel number 1732 which was filled on April 23rd, 2004. Let's pop it open this bad boy and write a few notes about it. Oh, no popping..! Plastic screw cap..! Another score... Color: Amber, orange blossom honey. Nose: Dark brown sugar, garam masala, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Sweet nose of toasted hard wood, vanilla and damp garden soil. Adding water opens it up: burnt creme caramel, dry haystack and clay. Palate: Velvety and thick mouthfeel. More dark sugar, warm raisin oatmeal cookies and old school cornflakes. Somebody poured an entire bottle of vanilla extract in this bottle. White pepper, more cinnamon and more cloves. Yeah, water thinned out the texture a little but amplified some nice rye notes. Black pepper, Toffifay Candy and buttermilk. Less vanilla more tannins and birch beer. Finish: Pretty long. Cloves and black pepper. Overall: Well this is a truly amazing bourbon... Heaven Hill did it again. Another great bottling under $30. Although the nose benefited from water a fair amount I wouldn't add it to keep its amazing texture on the palate. Ok, folks.. Let the hunt all over the country begin. It is not a bottle you will find in every corner liquor shop you walk in but pretty widely distributed. I guarantee that it  is worth the effort. By the way as additional info, this bottle from barrel #1732 is purchased from K&L Wines. If you are around Los Angeles area I would get one bottle for Christmas... It's a no brainer. Happy Holidays to everybody..!