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  1. #1

    Question Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    I'm from SW Ohio and recently went on a weekend trip last month to West Virginia for some whitewater rafting and to take in the local history. One of the pleasant surprises I ran into was Godfather's liquor store near Beckley. It was only like a quarter mile from our hotel so I took a couple trips.

    I managed to snag a W.L. Weller Centennial from Louisville (last bottle on the shelf), Fighting Cock, Old Whiskey River, Heaven Hill (black label), and Henry McKenna.

    There's a helluva lot more choices once you get out of the beautiful police state of Ohio. Maybe some of these are available here, but not in my area.

    Anyways I'll cut to the chase:

    I was really impressed with the Henry McKenna. Amazed actually. Sure it's not the best or most flavorful Bourbon I've tried but I couldn't believe I only paid a little under $10 for such a yummy and clean tasting Bourbon. I've noticed a kind of funky corn flavor that's usually present with lower shelf Bourbons. For example Evan Williams, Old Crow, Rebel Yell, Old Grand-Dad etc.

    Is Henry McKenna always such a good value? I'm thinking I maybe got a freak bottle, but I'm also not as experienced as some of the veterans here. The reason I ask this is because I'm going to Bourbon's Bistro next month for my birthday dinner and while I'm down in KY I was going to buy several bottles because I don't think I can get it here.

    Any past experiences you have to share would be most helpful.

  2. #2
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    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by plaid_emu View Post

    I managed to snag a W.L. Weller Centennial from Louisville
    That could be the "snag" of at least the decade. Good going!
    ovh

  3. #3

    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    That could be the "snag" of at least the decade. Good going!
    Ha! Thanks! That's what I've been reading here so I've decided to keep that one unopened, sealed in the box and tucked away for a most special occasion.

  4. #4
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    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    my 2 cents...

    look for 750's or liters of HH or Barton Bib's. I know I say this to everybody....but it really is a good deal. Look for Bottled in Bond from the city of Bardstown. They are all under $15 and come in every age possible. If you make it all the way to Ky for bourbon...don't come home with 80 proofers.

    I know $15 sounds low....but it's not what you pay...it's the flavor.
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  5. #5
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    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    p.e.,

    You may think the following question is facetious, but it's not.

    Did you first taste the H.M. while you were still on vacation?

    It's widely agreed that one's surroundings can influence perception of bourbon. I've noticed that both rodeos and blues dives make whatever I drink taste better.

    I'm surprised at some of your entries in the "funky corn" list. I have a hard time distinguishing H.M. and its stablemate, Evan Williams black label. Old Grand-Dad is very different than either, to my taste buds. Then again I've never had the low-proof OGD, only the BIB.

    As to your main question regarding a maverick bottle, I'd say no. Heaven Hill distillery turns out hundreds (thousands?) of cases a day. For the lower-shelf bottlings it's nothing but dump, fill, seal, box and ship -- case after case after case.

    There is (or was?) a Henry McKenna Single Barrel, whose bottling required human hands at each step, but even an average bottle of it was excellent. (In fact it was my favorite Heaven Hill bottling.)

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  6. #6
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    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad View Post

    There is (or was?) a Henry McKenna Single Barrel, whose bottling required human hands at each step, but even an average bottle of it was excellent. (In fact it was my favorite Heaven Hill bottling.)

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    But that was yesterday..and yesterday's gone.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  7. #7

    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad View Post
    p.e.,

    You may think the following question is facetious, but it's not.

    Did you first taste the H.M. while you were still on vacation?

    It's widely agreed that one's surroundings can influence perception of bourbon. I've noticed that both rodeos and blues dives make whatever I drink taste better.
    Believe it or not that thought crossed my mind.

    I actually waited until I got home to research a little more about what I purchased before opening them. I brought along a couple familiar favorites for the hotel room (a pint of Jim Beam Black & some little 50 ML Maker's mark).

    I've got almost half a bottle of the McKenna left that I'm slowly savoring until I can make it back down to KY. And just to make sure I'm not crazy, I've been taste testing it against the other seven open bottles I've got.

    I'm seriously digging it. Just a nice light and lovely pour. I'll be real disappointed if it's not consistent.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Henry McKenna. I've read about the single barrel online but I doubt I'll be lucky enough to find a bottle.

  8. #8

    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
    my 2 cents...

    look for 750's or liters of HH or Barton Bib's. I know I say this to everybody....but it really is a good deal. Look for Bottled in Bond from the city of Bardstown. They are all under $15 and come in every age possible. If you make it all the way to Ky for bourbon...don't come home with 80 proofers.

    I know $15 sounds low....but it's not what you pay...it's the flavor.
    Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely going to take your advice and try some BIB from a few different sources.

    So far I haven't found a sing bottle of ANYTHING BIB in OH.

  9. #9
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    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by plaid_emu View Post
    Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely going to take your advice and try some BIB from a few different sources.

    So far I haven't found a sing bottle of ANYTHING BIB in OH.
    I thought I might be able to find an official listing of what's available in OH. I failed.

    During my search I found this reminder of just how burdensome the state regs can be.

    I see reference to a form that appears to be necessary in order to offer a new bottling in the State. However, I see nothing regarding a published list. Maybe I didn't look hard enough.

    Yours
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  10. #10

    Re: Henry McKenna (Freak bottle or inexperienced taster?)

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad View Post
    I thought I might be able to find an official listing of what's available in OH. I failed.
    Are you looking for this?

    http://www.liquorcontrol.ohio.gov/do....pricelist.txt

 

 

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