With 1.9 million barrels of American Whiskey aging in six rickhouse sites, you have to figure that Heaven Hill had room for some more limited editions, and sure enough, Heaven Hill recently announced a new annual release called the “Heaven Hill Heritage Collection.” The first of this new annual spring release is a 17-year age-stated bourbon using Heaven Hill’s traditional bourbon mashbill (78% corn; 10% rye; 12% malted barley).
The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection will complement the fall limited edition release of Parker’s Heritage Collection, which Heaven Hill explains is “more experimental.” I’ve also considered Heaven Hill’s twice-per-year release of the Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond decanter series to be a limited edition of its own, and for spring 2022, it’s also a whopping 17 years old (the oldest to date in the series). I couldn’t think of a better way to try these than together.
Heaven Hill Heritage Collection No. 1
Bourbon: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 28% 20-year; 44% 19-year; 28% 17-year
ABV: 59.1% (118.2 proof)
Beautiful brown, worn penny, showing its age.
Vanilla, oak, old leatherbound books, and deep, deep cherry. Gorgeous depth.
Oak driven in the way that reminds you that you’re kidding yourself when you say six-eight years is the best range for bourbon. There’s nothing like this kind of oak when a distillery catches it before it becomes over oaked. There’s still the required caramel and vanilla, along with tobacco, leather, and nutmeg. It’s downright sultry.
Steady, long, and warm with an introduction of nutty cocoa.
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Spring 2022
Bourbon: Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond
Edition: Spring 2022
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 17 years
ABV: 50% (100 proof)
More amber than the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection, but still leaning brown.
Oak and honey appear first, but what really impressed me was the sweet berries, more like homemade jam. The aromas are absolutely enticing.
Mellow with the plenty of oak, but not nearly as much oak as I expected from the extra aging. Butterscotch, sweet glazed fruit pastries, and custard all compliment the oak, leather and cinnamon, producing a creamy, balanced, elegant bourbon.
Moderately warm but long and sustained.
We all knew that Heaven Hill has the supply of incredible whiskey that could support limited editions along with a stable of moderately-priced classics, and here’s the proof. No other distillery has (or can) match the diversity of what Heaven Hill has aging in its rickhouses, and I’m excited that Heaven Hill is now showcasing that it has more than just Parker’s Heritage Collection to add to the yearly discussion about the best bourbon. At this early stage of 2022, these two are top contenders.
Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly
sent me samples for this review,
without any strings attached.