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View Full Version : Old Heaven Hill BiB vs. Old Heaven Hill 8 y/o



Brisko
01-19-2011, 09:30
I've spent a lot of time reading through old threads, and I haven't really seen this question addressed directly (I hope it's okay to post it here and not in the newbie board).

Given that they're about the same price, which do you all think is the better value? The 4 y/o BiB or the 8 y/o at 86 proof? I'm generally a fan of the HH house style, so I'm guessing I might be happy with either.

The situation is that I have about $10 left on a giftcard and I thought I might burn it up on some bottom shelf juice (and there aren't a lot of viable bottom shelfers at this store).

Thoughts?

unclebunk
01-19-2011, 09:33
I've spent a lot of time reading through old threads, and I haven't really seen this question addressed directly (I hope it's okay to post it here and not in the newbie board).

Given that they're about the same price, which do you all think is the better value? The 4 y/o BiB or the 8 y/o at 86 proof? I'm generally a fan of the HH house style, so I'm guessing I might be happy with either.

The situation is that I have about $10 left on a giftcard and I thought I might burn it up on some bottom shelf juice (and there aren't a lot of viable bottom shelfers at this store).

Thoughts?

I don't think you can go wrong either way. I like them both but tend to lean towards the BIB, given my druthers.

CorvallisCracker
01-19-2011, 11:18
The HH 8/86 - are you refering to "Old Heaven Hill - Very Rare Old" (aka VROHH)?

I'f so, I don't think they make that anymore. The Oregon Liquor Control Commision had been buying it, and it was being sold at three stores in the state, but all are out of stock and the OLCC can't get any more (I'm pretty sure I bought the last seven bottles back in December).

I didn't think it was available anywhere else until Christian reported seeing some there in Minn (where you are).

If VROHH 8/86 is what you can get, I'd go for that. I have a feeling you won't be seeing it much longer.

Brisko
01-19-2011, 11:26
Yes, I'm pretty sure it is the Very Rare Old. I'll check but I probably won't get back over there before Friday.

Virus_Of_Life
01-20-2011, 10:58
I didn't think it was available anywhere else until Christian reported seeing some there in Minn (where you are).

If VROHH 8/86 is what you can get, I'd go for that. I have a feeling you won't be seeing it much longer.

Yes, and apparently I single handedly caused the price to go up a buck or two a bottle at one store.

Brisko, welcome to the site. The VROHH is a very good deal, I can't recall what the cheapest I've seen it for now but it may have been under $9 at Surdyks. Even at $10-$12 it is a wonderful bargain.

As Scott mentioned something with an 8 year age statement for that price isn't likely to last in this bourbon boom. We already saw, a few years ago, the 10 year 100 Proof version of it go away so it makes you wonder if the 8 isn't next.

I can't speak to the 4yo BiB as I don't know when the last time I had it was. I am not going to buy one, but I do have a 6yo BiB sitting in the garage so maybe I'll open that one and give it a taste to comapre.

Another great deal here in the Twin Cities area is the OGD 114 proof. Joshua and I scouted out a spot that sells that for $18.99, :bigeyes: that's a stupid bargain. Send me a PM if you want to know where.

Brisko
01-20-2011, 11:42
Do you think they are still making it, or I wonder if a local distributor has a bunch of it sitting around-- the various places I see, the stock level seems to stay consistent.

I've seen it for under $10, anyway.

I guess you guys confirmed my initial inclination; to go for age vs. proof in this case.

I will send you a PM because OGD 114 is my new fave.

Thanks!

ggilbertva
01-20-2011, 11:45
If picking between the two HH BIBs, I'd take the 6 year. It's actually quite good and value priced.

CorvallisCracker
01-20-2011, 12:52
Do you think they are still making it, or I wonder if a local distributor has a bunch of it sitting around-- the various places I see, the stock level seems to stay consistent.

In 2008 I sent a bottle to Scott (Callmeox), who took it to the next sampler. It's my recollection that he told me that when Bettye Jo Boone of HH saw it, she stated that it was one no longer in production.

Am I remembering that right, Scott?

(it's also possible that Christian related this to me...I have trouble recollecting at this point)

Virus_Of_Life
01-20-2011, 13:23
If they aren't making then some distributor in Minnesota stocked up bigtime because it is very common currently. Or at least was a few months ago, I haven't been out much since Joshua left me.

squire
01-20-2011, 15:20
Sounds like it's something to get while the getting is good.

callmeox
01-20-2011, 17:41
In 2008 I sent a bottle to Scott (Callmeox), who took it to the next sampler. It's my recollection that he told me that when Bettye Jo Boone of HH saw it, she stated that it was one no longer in production.

Am I remembering that right, Scott?

(it's also possible that Christian related this to me...I have trouble recollecting at this point)

My recollection is that Bettye Jo said that there are many one-off labels in the HH catalog and that the OHHVRO 8/86 was most likely one of the products bottled at the request of a specific customer.

I believe the 10yo BiB was the one no longer in production due to declining demand.

T Comp
01-20-2011, 22:43
If picking between the two HH BIBs, I'd take the 6 year. It's actually quite good and value priced.

I haven't noticed any 6 year HH BIB, in my last few trips to Kentucky. The 6 year old I now see is all 90 proof green label "Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon". The BIB is the nas "Old Heaven Hill" . I know from Chuck's prior posts that Heaven Hill makes many labels and tailors them for different customers too, so I probably just haven't been to stores that still have the 6 year BIB. I once had a 6 year HH BIB but don't remember if it was "Old Style" or "Old Heaven Hill" either.

squire
01-21-2011, 15:53
Scott I would swing through Bardstown every few years for a decade or so and always picked up a case of HH Very Old Rare 10yr 50%. Last time I was there it was still 10yrs but 43% and the price was a bit higher. I don't think the decision to change was consumer driven.

Rotgut
01-21-2011, 16:15
After reading this thread I stopped and picked up a bottle of the Very Rare Old 8-year 86 proof on the way home. I've had the BIB 6-year and I didn't think much of it. The VRO was even cheaper ($9.99/liter vs 12.99) so I was leery, but to my delight, the 8-year is pretty dern good. The flavor isn't the most complex out there, but for having on hand if I want to minlessly sip on something or if friends/wife/dog/etc. want to pour it in a Coke it's great. I think in a blind test this would fool some people, but not all.

And it sounds like the consensus is that it's still in production . . . if it helps, mine has an "11" on the bottom of the bottle. Could it be a 2011 product already? I don't know if stock makes it through the system that fast. Maybe the bottle manufacturer's fiscal year started sometime in calendar year 2010?

Maybe it's just because it's one louder. It's good stuff and a hidden gem, at any rate.

If not for this thread I would probably never have tried it, so Thanks!

Mike

Brisko
01-21-2011, 16:29
I picked up a liter today... won't have time to open it until later, though. couldn't find a year number on the bottom, sorry no help there. The price is right, though!

CorvallisCracker
01-21-2011, 16:34
Although there's no bottling date on the bottles, I was told by the owner of the liquor store where I'd been buying them that his last case of it had a date of May 2001 printed on the case. The seven bottles I bought in December have an 01 on the bottom of the bottle. So I'm pretty sure that the stuff I've been buying these past 2.5 years was distilled at the now-destroyed Bardstown distillery.

It may be that they've produced some more. It would be from Bernheim, and even though it might be good, I doubt it tastes like the old DSP-31 stuff.

Mike, where are you, BTW?

Added via edit:

Okay, I see from this post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=205534&postcount=9)you must be in Minnesota.

I'm starting to believe that the only two customers for this have been the OLCC and some distributor in Minnesota. Both ran out (probably late last year) and HH has produced some more.

As for the 11 bottle date, it might be the same bottle used for EW (I need to compare them), in which case the bottle producer ships them as fast as they make them, and HH fills them as fast as they get them.

Virus_Of_Life
01-21-2011, 17:29
Okay, I see from this post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=205534&postcount=9)you must be in Minnesota.


Yeah, imagine that, there's more than one person in the state of Minnesota that drinks bourbon!! Who'd of thunk it.

CorvallisCracker
01-21-2011, 17:31
Yeah, imagine that, there's more than one person in the state of Minnesota that drinks bourbon!! Who'd of thunk it.

You're missing Joshua a lot, aren't you?

callmeox
01-21-2011, 19:18
Scott I would swing through Bardstown every few years for a decade or so and always picked up a case of HH Very Old Rare 10yr 50%. Last time I was there it was still 10yrs but 43% and the price was a bit higher. I don't think the decision to change was consumer driven.

"Declining demand" was Bettye Jo's take on the disposition of the brand based on her bottling line observations, IIRC.

callmeox
01-21-2011, 19:36
Here's her post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=166081&postcount=35) on the topic of the 10yo BiB.

Brisko
01-21-2011, 21:08
I think HH puts Julian dates on all their bottles-- I'm having a hell of a time reading the one on mine due to it going across the raised letters. But that would give us the best guess as to when it was bottled, I bet.

Rotgut
01-21-2011, 22:24
Mike, where are you, BTW?

Added via edit:

Okay, I see from this post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=205534&postcount=9)you must be in Minnesota.

Oops. I updated my profile. Thanks.

I'll keep my eyes open and see if I come across any other vinages. The '01s sound intriguing.

Mike

ethangsmith
01-22-2011, 08:41
If they ever stop making the Old Heaven Hill BIB 4yo (Gold label), I may just stop drinking bourbon. I buy the stuff by the case and I've created several other OHH BIB fanatics around here too. At $9 a bottle in Maryland, I'm going to go ahead and say it's probably the best deal in bourbon that I've ever come across. I'd say it's comparable to OGD BIB, which is double the price (And my 2nd favorite bourbon!).

This is the stuff I'm talking about to clarify:

http://www.langenbergjan.nl/whiskylabels/html-labels/Heaven%20Hill%20Old%20Kentucky%20Straight%20Bourbo n-97.html

Parkersback
01-22-2011, 09:24
Ethan, I am assuming you order it by mail, or drive somewhere to get it? It's not in PA is it? I've never seen it in NYC, but I love OGD BIB and I'd love to try it.

It's a shame that the 10 yr is no longer in production.

ethangsmith
01-22-2011, 09:45
I had made an attempt at getting it in PA, but it was rejected. Heck, the representative for PA from HH didn't even know about the stuff! I have to go to Maryland to get it since they can order what ever is requested from a customer.

Brisko
01-24-2011, 13:24
Well, the 8/86 is pretty decent. Tastes like bourbon :grin:

Smells pretty grassy, a little mentholated. Goes down easy. I'd say it drinks better than it noses, if that makes sense. There's definitely some nice rye spice in the palate and it finishes clean. Very brief, but clean.

I'll have to grab a bottle of the 4y/o BiB to compare it to, eventually. But, I'm happy with it, given the price (and my expectations weren't high).

squire
01-24-2011, 16:06
Ethan the HH BIB we get has the white label but is 4yrs so the same stuff or close. A true bargain, ours is a little over $10 a bottle.

ethangsmith
01-24-2011, 18:12
Does it seem to have a very high rye content in it? That's what I love about the HH BIB that I get- it's real dry and full of rye. It's VERY similar to OGD BIB if you drink them neat side by side- only the HH BIB is half the price!

CorvallisCracker
01-27-2011, 15:25
Yesterday I was in the store that used to carry the VROHH 8/86, and its former place on the shelf is now occupied by HH Green Label 6/90. At $10.45 it's $2.50 less than EWBL. I'm wondering how they (HHGL and EWBL) compare.

squire
02-05-2011, 16:07
Ethan I wouldn't say high rye, not so much as Grand Dad, noticeable though with a traditional Bourbon flavor profile.

ethangsmith
02-05-2011, 16:18
I was thinking the dry flavor was from the rye in it, but I guess it's not. What makes that wonderful dry flavor in OGD, HH BIB, Booker's, and Knob Creek?

squire
02-06-2011, 16:25
Ethan it could be part of the barrel influence spiced by the rye.

ethangsmith
02-06-2011, 16:50
That makes sense. The dry, earthy flavor is what attracts me to OGD BIB and OHH BIB and has made those two bourbons my favorites.

BFerguson
04-04-2011, 19:35
Well , after reading this thread earlier last week, and then seeing a small gathering of liters and handles on the bottle shelf at a store this weekend of the VROHH 8y/o, I said, why not, the price is right to try it. THink I paid around $12 for the liter.

First couple of glasses, it was good, nothing to write hoe about. There was something a bit off in each of the first couple of glasses when starting the drink, but did improve a fair amount by the end of the glass.

Tonight, much better start, and hopefully expecting much better finish. While not quite worthy of standing on it's own,I think it couple be a new staple bourbon with plenty of ice. I know some think ice is just plain wrong, but to each their own. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, and mine certainly lean to that there is a bourbon for every situation.

I've been hitting a lot of the local stores hard lately on the collection for a small project, and when I think back , I don't remember seeing this particular bottling in but the one where i picked it up. For the price it is certainly worth picking up a couple to stash away for future enjoyment. Especially since it seems like it is on the way out, or already is by the previous replies.

For what it is worth, the bottle that I have has a 10 on the bottom for the date code.

Looks like another trip is i order

Brisko
04-05-2011, 07:38
I've been seeing more of it around, actually.

It's great over ice, and at that price I don't really expect it to be a sipping whiskey. I will say, though, that at 8 years, it lacks the copmplexity you'd expect. Instead of complexity and maturity, the age shows in the dryness and tannicity. I think it's the same aspect that gives EWB its clean, short finish, but amplified. To me it's a little off-putting.

I guess it's a demonstration that age statements aren't always an indicator of superior quality. EWB is in the same price range and I give it a slight edge. It's barely even on the same planet as EWSB, its one-year-older cousin.

Don't get me wrong. I like it. It actually reminds me a lot of Beam White without the Beam yeast.

BFerguson
04-05-2011, 16:36
I agree to the off-putting comment. There is something vaguely there, but seems to be lessening the more I taste it. Absolutely, age is not everything, there are bottles that are great for young, and at the other end, there are some that are just way past their prime.

On ice is the way to go with this one. Looking forward to the warmer days to sit on the front porch with a glass at my side, dog at my foot, and paper in hand on a lazy weekend.

And yes, there was another trip to procure more for the cellar. Good price to stash away at. Plus there weresome BT experimental's that were calling out to me to give a good home to.:grin: