I had this out already as I was preparing a sample for some lucky duck and decided it had been quite long enough since the last time I enjoyed this. I was on the fence about tasting notes but decided to go for it while I had a little bit of time to sit and enjoy. I got my first taste of this in a sample swap myself. Hopefully the recipient of my sample will enjoy it as much as I did. It was good enough for me to select it as my choice from a 2020 raffle I was lucky to win.
Company on Label: Heaven Hill
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Barley
Age: 10 years
Further identification: Purchased in 2020
Nose: Bright vanilla along with a light Heaven Hill paper note I've come to know and expect. It's pretty dusty paper though; I feel like I'm in some kind of luxurious office with too many crevices to keep perpetually clean. Yum - a sweet candy profile that is similar to smarties or a nerdz candy rope. A little bit of syrupy strawberry starting to form. Some faint pepper notes are delicate. Very well kept at the start of the glass. The intensity to the sweet stone fruit is certainly unlocked after a sip. Finally the oak makes itself known as one would expect to find on a uniquely finished bourbon such as this; it's right around that age where spices start to take over, but the dark leather and tobacco notes are not yet present. It makes for a lighter aroma; something airy and promising. It smells like freshly split oak logs on a dry Fall day. Hmm, really getting that Fall vibe in my head now - something like a pile of leaves... Or maybe I'm just day-dreaming or projecting my favorite season now. Hotter baking spices are really beginning to kick up more frequently and with a larger intensity nearing the bottom of the glass. Very well rounded and complex nose.
Palate: Instant prevalent cherry shoots across the tongue. A light cinnamon remains where the cherry dries up or falls away. Slight red wine tannin lingers at the edges of my tongue. Delicious marshmallow has formed now, comingled with sweet plum and raspberry jam. A creamy thin textured caramel is quite late to the party, but adds well to the profile. A little hot on the last sip, but still a lot of dark red fruit sweetness. I wish this did a little more, but the flavors that are present are all solid.
The nose definitely put the palate to shame on this one and that is likely the only reason I can't give this a 5! Still a solid pour I look forward to continuing to share with good company.