Heaven Hill 27 Year
There are those marks in time that seemingly every true bourbon nerd knows. Like the year of the Bottled-in-Bond Act. Or the year Stitzel-Weller closed. Or the year Sazerac 18 exhausted its “vatted” rye stock. The year of the Heaven Hill fire is one of those.
In 1996, Heaven Hill experienced a devastating fire, destroying many warehouses, the still house, and over 90,000 barrels of aging whiskey. Certainly the loss of aging stock was tragic, but the loss of the still house changed Heaven Hill forever.
After the fire, with no place to distill, the bourbon industry stepped up to Heaven Hill’s rescue. Distillers like Brown-Foreman and Jim Beam started contract distilling for Heaven Hill (to Heaven Hill’s specifications). Then in 1999, instead of rebuilding the distillery, Heaven Hill purchased and began operating the Bernheim distillery, which it operates today.
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A bottle that hardly needs an introduction, 2018 Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year bourbon.
The Pappy Van Winkle brand has become its own metaphor. Instead of describing Pappy Van Winkle bourbon as the “holy grail” or “golden goose,” other products can be aptly described as “the Pappy Van Winkle of [fill in the blank].”
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Several months after it was announced earlier this year, we finally had a chance to sample the Weller C.Y.P.B. The name “Weller” is now just as synonymous with bourbon hysteria as “Pappy.” So, this limited release generated a lot of buzz when it was announced.
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Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is part of Jim Beam’s small batch series, along with Knob Creek, Booker’s, and Baker’s. You can read more about Basil Hayden himself, and the origins of the brand, here.
Basil Haden’s is known for being a “gateway” bourbon. That is, it is an ideal introductory bourbon, due to its low alcohol content (80 proof) and inoffensive profile (sweet and smooth). The standard offering once carried an 8 year age statement, which was dropped in 2012. Now that standard offering is rebased at between 6-8 years old.
This month, Beam just released a new product, the Basil Hayden’s 10 year bourbon. This 10 Year release is said to be a new holiday-season annual offering by Jim Beam.
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