Right when I was neck deep in a competitive blind tasting, a whisky buddy thought it was a good idea to sent me a mystery sample. So instead of taking a break after eighteen straight days of blind tasting whisky samples, I had one extra to go through. Thanks Dirk! 😉
Seeing as I didn’t know what I was tasting, I’ll skip the pre-amble and dive right into the tasting notes.
Heaven Hill 2009 8 Years Old (50,2%, Whiskybroker, C#152715)
Nose: A lot of oak shavings with a proper spiciness (white pepper) at first, before making way for some pine needles and aniseed. Plenty of wood glue here, as well as it being somewhat floral. In the background a faint fruitiness, highlighted by green apples and grape pomace. Taste: Extremely oak driven and very spicy. Ginger, cloves, white pepper. Some greener notes as well, like pine sap or cactus juice, accompanied by menthol and koriander. Finish: Lingering on menthol notes and subtle spices. Dry and medium in length.
Too wood driven to my liking, and as a discovered it was bottled at ‘only’ 50,2 percent, I found that hard to believe. I would’ve guessed this to be closer to 60 percent.
Because of the spices and herbaceousness, I even thought about a well-aged Genever, although I knew that was unlikely because of the high strength. The abundance of oak and its youthfulness were a giveaway though, and it didn’t surprise me when Dirk told me it was a bourbon. Not a bad dram by any means, but also not my preferred flavour profile.