Let's talk Heaven Hill. With the PHC 2012(Beyond my expectations) and Larceny(Which I have not yet tried.) just being released, I've been thinking about this distillery quite a bit, lately. I know there are HH haters out there, which is cool, but I would like to hear from all. Why do you hate, and why do you love?
I love HH on many levels, but it's not because I love all the Whiskey.
I love that they still do Straight Corn. Darker versions of DD, along with MC are delicious, and keep this wonderfully unique American spirit alive. I'm very thankful that they do this.
I love value labels like FC, which over deliver. In Wisconsin there is no actual Heaven Hill label and no other BIBs except for Old Fitz, so I have no experience there. I do feel that EW Black is one of the best "cheap" labels going.
EC12 and EC18 are wildly inconsistent. Some I've loved, while others have been disappointing.
Some well-respected voices on this forum are also fans of EWSB, while I've found most years to be only so-so.
Old Fitz is aweful. Shame.
PHC: I've had all but the 27yr, and I've loved all but the Cognac, which I feel was good, but was not up to the greatness of the others. The latest 4-grain is stunning to me, and I've already categorized it as legendary.
RittBIB is as good a cheap Rye as there is, if a bit Bourbon like. Can't wait to try RittBIB DSP-1. I also love Pikesville. Stephen Foster and Ritt80 are just okay. I've had Ritt21 twice, which was amazing both times.
They also supply many others, and favorites of mine include Old Ezra 7, Johnny Drum Private Stock, and various Willett bottlings.
All in all, I mostly love HH for it's diversity, IMHO. Let's hope it keeps expanding on that. Yo Craig, how about a High-Rye Bourbon?
(PS: FWIW, my avatar is a series of barrel-strength EC12s that a friendly retailer allowed me to try when he was selecting a barrel. The bottle on the far left was 153.2 proof, and better than any Stagg I've ever had. The retailer agreed with me. It was jaw-dropping, drop to your knees Bourbon. When the retailer went to order the barrel, it was sadly already gone.)