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Friday, April 14, 2017

Bourbon and Rye Day Friday: Heaven Hill 6 year old Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon (2016)

I love this stupid picture
We are definitely entering a new bourbon era when even Heaven Hill starts dropping age statements from their classics. Now many of us recognize how great it was to have a 6 year old, high ABV, quality bourbon available for $10-$12. In fact now that I've typed it, I can't believe it was once true (like, as of a few months ago). But the new HH BIB is still a BIB, and I think it remains south of $15. But, yeah I know, it's not the same. This is another(!) review from one of my whisk(e)y bottles. This of the once (and hopefully) future 6yo BIB. Most of this bottle's contents found a home in Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

Distiller: Heaven Hill
Brand: Heaven Hill
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Region: Louisville, Kentucky
Maturation: New American oak
Age: at least six years
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Bottle Code: F167 615 27
Bottling Year: 2016 (I think)
Alcohol by Volume: 50%

Its nose starts off with a sharply defined pine note, that gradually gets edged aside. There's almond extract, dried cherries and sesame oil. Then pears and grassy green herbs. Hints of rye whiskey and cucumber skins. It gets a little bigger as it's aired out. The palate is warm, rather than hot. It's nutty, has some wood spice, a cherried (dude, lazy) sweetness. There's a chili pepper heat that expands with time. A hint of tartness shows up to keep things interesting. The finish has a simple sweet oakiness. Nutty and peppery. Hints of vanilla, corn, salt and smoke. Cherry lollipops show up later on.

It's also quite good in Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, turning them sweeter than expected.

I may have said about other Heaven Hill products, but as a long-time scotch drinker, I'm shocked by the quality-to-price ratio here. I can't even think of a $30 scotch with this level of potency and reliable character. Personally, I like this BIB better than Even Williams White Label. (Wait, where are you going? Hey, I had a really bad experience with my last bottle of EW BIB.) Anyway, if you can still find this 6yo version for $10, I highly recommend it. Hell, I'd buy it for twice that, but don't tell anyone.

Availability - shrinking as it (EDITED) may be getting replaced by an NAS version, or the distillery has momentarily halted distribution
Pricing - $10-$15
Rating - 82

2 comments:

  1. Are you absolutely sure this is discontinued? HH may have stopped distribution to Ohio and replaced with the plain 4 year BIB (also a product), but I'm pretty sure the 6 year is still available in other markets. I'm pretty active over on Straightbourbon.com and I haven't seen anything about this. The last time people freaked out over this being discontinued Heaven Hill had actually just moved the age statement to the neck tag.

    Incidentally, check out Old Ezra 7 101 if it is available in your market. I can get it for about $18 on sale. That's more than HH6BIB, but it is still a very nice sub-$20 bottle of age stated HH-sourced bourbon, which is pretty rare in this day and age.

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    1. Just saw this comment. I'll continue the discussion on the other post. FWIW, Ohio has neither the HH6BIB nor the Old Ezra 7 101, and I wouldn't be surprised if the state never had them. It's the larger retailers in KY and IN that are seeing this shortage and label change.

      Also, I've softened the wording in this post.

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