I have actually already reviewed this previously; I forgot that, and reviewed it again anyway! Funny enough - I reviewed it for the same reason I did last time... I had it open for preparing a sample! I've shared more of this bottle than I've enjoyed it myself. It seems to be one people ask for a lot when they see it on my shelf. I'm grateful to have one to share, but try to reach for it sparingly to keep that opportunity alive. Let's see if my thoughts have changed much with a little air time on this?
Company on Label: Heaven Hill
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Barley
Age: 10 years
Further identification: 2020 raffle win
Nose: Malt & chocolate. Dusty Heaven Hill vanilla forward. Light clove and anise. Vaguely reminds me of a smoother Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye, oddly. Baking spices flourish throughout this glass. Slightly dry & metallic. Definitely that unique Heaven Hill vanilla is the dominant note early in the glass. After a bit of jostling and a swirl some faint stone fruit come out to play. Some great nuttiness to this too; roasted peanuts with a bit of salt. Olive oil & touches of parsley. Lovely complexity here. 120 proof is a bit of a nose scorcher if you get too close. A continued dry yet creamy vanilla continues to be the predominant smell. Wow, fine cut saw dust now. This thing just keeps evolving... Some caramelized sugar now alongside a bright white paper note. The empty glass smells of wet pavement, axe-split red oak, and a medley of baking spice.
Palate: Syrupy mouthfeel with an immediate flavor bomb that explodes across the tongue. Cinnamon hots, heavy oak, pepper and peanut shells are at the forefront of my first sip. That definitely came off quite intense, so be ready for this pour! Thick, unbelievably rich mouth feel. Plum, apricot, dusty oak and vanilla are a bombardment of flavors that starts syrupy that then fades into a long, drying finish. I'm kind of amazed at how nutty this is remaining throughout. The nose has evolved drastically but the palate has stayed mainly on the same course. Hints of mint are trying to claw out from the back end of the glass, while a grapefruit citrus bubbles across my tongue. This is one of those pours that 'breathes' with you a bit, which I love. A lovely mellow popcorn shell and buttery pecans are a nice surprise near the bottom of the glass. I fear I am entering the phase I usually end up on this pour - it turns most incredible right at the end of the glass. Ohhh yes, lovely plum sweetness with a strong vanilla backbone has returned. It's now incredibly robust without being too hot. My last sip was swishes and savored long with pie crust, walnuts, cherry hots rising late, and then long lingers of toasted oak, vanilla dust and peanut brittle. Delicious finish!
Actually, very close to some of the notes from the previous review... I think I enjoyed it a bit more tonight than my last review, but not enough to move the score. I still wholeheartedly agree that the nose far surpasses the palate on this one.