I have to admit that I have never occupied myself with whiskey from the United States that much. Of course, everyone knows Jack Daniel’s and its cheaper equivalents from supermarkets, but that is not what I am talking about. I always knew there had to be more interesting bourbon whiskeys, but I never had time or leisure to find out about them. So last time I went to one of my favourite whisky stores, I took home this miniature bottle of Heaven Hill 14yo with a Caribbean cask finish. It was bottled by Malts of Scotland under their brand Whiskey of America. Since I love rum finishes and really appreciate it when whiskies are bottled at cask strength, I thought this Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey with an ABV of 55.2% might be a worthwhile excursion into the world of bourbon. My intuition was right, as I ended up really enjoying this Heaven Hill which surprised me with a deep complexity. From the second you fill it into your glass until the moment you finished your last drop, you go on a journey from the United States straight to the Caribbean and then end up in Turkey with a cup of mocha in your hand. I am sure this was not the my last whiskey from Heaven Hill Distillery.
Eye: Fresh-cooked dark caramel.
Nose: Of course, there is this bourbon sweetness combined with vanilla notes. But after a few minutes you can also find notes that the caribbean cask must have brought in. Besides rum, caramel and raisins there are exotic fruits like pineapple and banana. Actually, the bananas step into the foreground more and more with every minute the whiskey spends in the glass. After another ten or so minutes, toffee starts to prevail.
Palate: Not as sweet as you would expect from a bourbon. The first sip is like liquid caramel, but there are many more notes. Besides a slightly fruity aroma you will also discover pepper and mocha. You might compare it to a fried banana with a bitter chocolate-mocha sauce.
Finish: A long finish with pepper and mocha.
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Aged: 14 Years
Alc. volume: 55.2%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~100.00 Euro
More info: www.malts-of-scotland.com (Bottler)