...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Henry McKenna 10 year old BIB Single Barrel 3270

Look what I found in the back of my cabinet!

No, not that.


Who here is sick of the Heaven Hill posts? Other than me?

Actually, Henry McKenna 10 year old BIB Single Barrel is both reliable and priced exceptionally well for being bottled in bond, a single barrel and 10(!) years old. I've already reviewed two other HMcK10BIBSBs and one dusty HMcK. Lemme do up a quick review of this barrel.

Oh wait, look what else I found in my cabinet!

Come on.

Thank you.

This is a sample of the HMcK10BIBSB I reviewed 19 months ago. Hopefully this will provide some depth and perspective to this tasting.

Brand: Henry McKenna
Distillery: New Bernheim, Louisville, KY
Owner: Heaven Hill
Type: straight bourbon whiskey
Age: at least 10 years
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley (maybe)
Distillation date: November 9, 2006
Bottling Year: 2016 or 2017
Barrel: 3270
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
(Sample from my bottle, mid-bottle)

Barrel 3270 - Very intense, full of vanilla bean, almond extract and caramel sauce. Fruity Vietnamese cinnamon, jasmine and ginger ale. Hints of limes, envelope glue and sawdust.

Barrel 3563 - Muted and peppery. Some generic nuttiness, paper and barrel char. Fresh ginger bursts through after 20 minutes, joined by a little bit of orange peel.

Barrel 3270 - Limes, vanilla and nice aromatic oakiness. Gentle sweetness and moderate heat. Dried cherries and a touch of woody bitterness. It picks up more sweetness and citrus with time.

Barrel 3563 - Fruitier than the nose. Lots of dried fruits and tannins, like a wonky sherry cask. Cayenne pepper and ginger powder give it some zip. Bits of cherry lollipops and tangy citrus.

Barrel 3270 - Lots of small notes: Vanilla, oranges, salt, bitterness. Bigger notes of tart limes, pepper and barrel char.

Barrel 3563 - All drying tannins. No sweetness. Pepper and cherry cough medicine.

I forgot that I hadn't liked barrel 3563. Curiously, I thought its palate was flat last time and this time I found the nose to be the bigger problem. Well, the biggest problem are the violent tannins that obliterate the finish.

But I'm really supposed to be focusing on barrel 3270 today. Its oversized sniffer is a delight, even with a couple quirky notes. The palate's good oak notes survive the quieter not-good oak notes, while the fruitiness and extra sweetness turn it into a quality drink. Had the finish delivered on the nose's or palate's promise, this would be a very good bourbon.

Forgetting all those words words words, and the decent score I'm probably going to give it, there's still an issue here. I opened this bottle a year ago, and I'm still barely at its midpoint. Perhaps it's all the oak or the uninspiring finish or my desire to drink something that kicks more ass at the end of a crap day. Just because something is a good deal doesn't mean it's going to be one of the ten most interesting things in your cabinet (including Pinkie Pie!). Though I appreciate its price point, barrel 3270 is my last Henry McKenna.

Henry McKenna 10 year old, Barrel 3270
Rating - 81

Henry McKenna 10 year old, Barrel 3563
Rating - 76