By Scott Hill
Mellow Corn is a Straight Corn Whiskey produced by one of my favorite distilleries, Heaven Hill. It is made from a 90% corn mash bill and aged in USED Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for no less than four years. It is Bottled in Bond, meaning the whiskey is the product of one distillation season and one distiller at a single distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years, and it must be bottled at exactly 100 proof.
Beyond these specifics, the most important characteristic is that it costs $11 a bottle. That is no typo. $11. The least expensive bottle of booze I have ever purchased. Normally I’d run the opposite direction of an $11 bottle. But not this one.
I don’t hate it. In fact, I kind of like it. It is young. It is sweet. It is simple. But it is good.
Nose: Vanilla and corn, backed by a nice scent of oak. There is a soft green fruitiness under the vanilla. It has some burn at 100 proof, which is to be expected at $11, but it is not overpowering or off-putting.
Palate: Hot, as can be expected, but otherwise exactly as the nose would suggest. The mouthfeel is fuller than I’d expect, not coating or oily, just notably not thin, almost silky.
Finish: Definitely the weakest point, but by no means awful. Hot medium-length finish with fleeting vanilla and spice. All you are left with is corn and maybe that green fruitiness. A bit more complexity would be nice, but that might up the price to $15.
Overall: The best $11 I’ve ever spent. Its warm, sweet and juicy. It has just the right amount of oak/vanilla to balance the sweet corn and green fruit. It is unique. It isn’t complex. But it is so inexpensive. I just want to share it with friends and brag on its price tag.