Heaven Hill is releasing a new ultra-premium product, Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 17-Year-Old Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It is the first edition of the new Heaven Hill Heritage Collection. Each spring, this annual, highly limited release will feature some of the distillery’s oldest inventory of aging whiskey, heralding the exacting standards Heaven Hill Distillery has practiced since 1935.
Susan Wahl shared that the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection will feature five of Heaven Hill’s mash bills and starts with this 17 year Bourbon and is an extension of the Parker’s Heritage collection. Wahl says that Heaven Hill has a “vast inventory of extra-aged whiskey,” which they will be tapping into for this program. Most of the Heritage whiskeys will be more than 15 years old, but the Parker’s Heritage collection will be more about experimentation.
Connor O’Driscoll, Heaven Hill’s Master Distiller explained that this new release is made up of 17, 19, and 20-year old whiskey from across Heaven Hill’s dozens of warehouses. O’Driscoll notes flavors of walnuts and pecans, leather, and a finish of a little smoke or char from the barrel. At 118.2 proof, I find notes of dark chocolate on the nose and cinnamon apples and prunes on the palate. The finish is warm but not overpowering.
The barrels for this batch were almost all from the first thru the third floors with just a few barrels from the sixth and seventh floors. Typically in Kentucky, higher floors yield more evaporation, higher proofs, and more woodiness over time, whereas lower floors yield fuller barrels with less proof and more even maturation over long periods of time.
According to the press release, “The Collection, a testament to Heaven Hill’s patience and ultra-aging techniques, will feature one of the six traditional American Whiskey mashbills produced by Heaven Hill, the only heritage distillery to produce this range. The first edition features Heaven Hill’s Bourbon mashbill comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley, and bottled at a barrel proof of 118.2. With an age statement of 17 years, this release is made up of 28% 20-year-old barrels, 44% 19-year-old barrels, and 28% 17-year-old barrels pulled from Deatsville, Glencoe, Schenley, and Heaven Hill main campus warehouse locations. Attributes will vary by release as deemed worthy of bottling.”
“Over many years, we have been quietly aging some exquisite whiskeys to be introduced under a new collection within our Heaven Hill Distillery portfolio,” says Max L. Shapira, Heaven Hill President. “Of our 1.9 million barrels resting across six rickhouse sites, our master craftspeople have kept watchful eyes on this limited stock of special barrels and we are finally ready to release the first edition.”
This bottle will be available nationally on a limited basis for $274.99.
Photos Courtesy of Heaven Hill