Henry McKenna Single Barrel Review
Updated: Jul 12, 2018
Cheap, delicious, 10 year age-stated and easy to find. What's not to like? If you're not stocking this in your bourbon cabinet, you're doing it wrong.
Type: Bourbon whiskey
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 10 years
Price Paid: $29.99
Specific Bottling: Barrel 2374, barreled on 03-08-05
Medium amber. Almost like a light syrup. This juice is darker than a lot of the stuff you can currently find on shelf. No tricks with dark labels or tinted bottled either, just good, dark juice.
The alcohol is really upfront at first. Get past that, and there are the typical bourbon scents of vanilla and caramel, but I also get a bit of cinnamon and clove. On the backend there is a decent whiff of oak. The nose is pleasant, but won't necessarily knock your socks off.
This is where this bourbon shines. At first sip, you're hit with vanilla, oak and a surprising rye kick. Keep sipping and you'll find a little caramel. It's smooth and the heat is definitely there, but not overpowering. A very pleasant mix of heat and flavor. Adding a few drops of water really mellows this out. With the spice toned down, it's got a buttery smooth texture and gives off hints of butterscotch and toffee. Overall, the taste is surprisingly complex. It seems to taste a bit different with every sip. The proof is perfect for the flavors represented, the burn is just right and the mouthfeel is enjoyable.
The finish for this pour is medium to long. There's pepper, oak and even a bit of mint. The burn is spicy at first but fades off slowly to a pleasant warmth.
This has everything I want in a daily-drinker and then some. It packs plenty of flavor, including all the traditional bourbon characteristics, with a few surprises included. The burn is bold, but not overpowering and lasts just long enough. It is a fantastic representation of what bourbon can and should be. When new bourbon drinkers ask me for recommendations to expand beyond Makers and Woodford, this is always one of the first I recommend. It's inviting enough for beginners to enjoy, but complex enough that seasoned whiskey connoisseurs can still find plenty to like. I'd enjoy this bourbon at twice the price, but at $30 or less, for a 10-year bottled-in-bond, it's one that should always be stocked in your cabinet.