ABV: 62.5% Distillery: Heaven Hill Bottler: The Single Cask Region: USAAge: 10
The Single Cask’s 10 year old Heaven Hill hails from May of 2009 where it was filled into virgin oak before being bottled in the month after it’s 10th birthday in June 2019. A mere 130 bottles were produced from the barrel – however a little digging reveals that 60 bottles from cask #152724 were snaffled away as festival exclusive for The Village 2020 – an annual Nuremberg-based fair running since 2013 which brings together distillers, importers and of course drinkers. There are still bottles from the original 130 outturn available for £74.95 from Master of Malt.
Nose: Discernible apricot alongside unripe pineapple and banana skins. After a period of unravelling in the glass, orange sherbet is revelated together with shaved chocolate, nutmeg, eggnog and a soft vanilla oakiness. Reduction offers a larger cask influence with vanilla pods and creaminess (though spicing is maintained consistently) together with orange liquors and Battenberg cake.
Taste: Highly drinkable – even at the high strength – with little prickle and an arrival which glides rather than assaults. Foam bananas from the off, alongside stone fruit cobbler and drinking chocolate. Spicing builds with white pepper and cinnamon rolls alongside anise and charred oak staves. In the background a juxtaposition of leaf mulch and dry earthiness together with drizzle icing. Dilution is rather fun – and there’s plenty of ABV to play with. Buttercream icing, golden caster sugar, pancake mix and chopped almonds.
Finish: Very long with peppery mentholated oakiness, burnt pan sugars and orange bitters.
A Heaven Hill which eschews the extremes of sweetness, spice and power in favour of a surprisingly soft and approachable character. Bourbon masochists might miss the raw punch that this level of ABV can provide – but for the rest of us there’s an agreeable combination of discernible fruitiness and well-controlled virgin oak influence throughout. Very easy to like.
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