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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    ok, please excuse my whining, but i've been letting this brew all day.

    first, a technical question: what is the mash bill for Heaven Hill's basic white label, 80 proof "old style bourbon" ? (see photo, attached)

    i thought i understood the difference between corn and rye.

    rye is spicey. corn is sweet. this isn't sweet to me (or spicey) so i can only wonder what the formula is...

    first, let me let my INITIAL tasting notes from this afternoon fly. this was preceded by a pour of EW 1783...

    to be honest, my notes were full of optimism and hope. i WANTED to like this. of course, at $8.79...but then, why am i surprised now?

    the notes--

    appearance: honey/straw, long thick legs followed by micro-legs that fall apart on descent--similar sticky cling drops i saw with the EW 1783...

    nose: apples, stewed sweetness ? cheese? peppermint?
    nothing specific but still "pronounced"...on second taste, the pronounced becomes more, er, pronounced: canned vegetables (greens? corn?)...

    taste: oily, buttery, woody...second and third tastes confim LEFTOVER VEGETABLE CASSEROLE left on the counter for 2 days

    finish: squash? pine bark?



    ok, am i being fair?

    this really threw me into a swirl. i had to confirm something with regards to quality. i quickly has some Eagle Rare 10 SB...whew and ah....my tastebuds had not gone out. this is quality. this is why i spend money on top shelf bourbon...

    i admit, this was an unpredmeditated buy...i had gone for the EW 1783 only because it is a closeout here in PA and was only $8.99.

    but this one, at even less, turned out to be a VALUABLE lesson. in one sense i feel dumb. in another, i now appreciate the middle and top shelf bourbons even more.


    ok, why, though was this such a shocker to me? why am i so blown away by the endgame of Heaven Hill's bottle of old rags-n-bad-cabbage? i really don't even know if 3 peppermint sticks thrown in the bottle will help. i even doubt i will be able to cook with this.

    now, i AM open minded. is there a dimension i am missing here?

    is this what a dominantly corn whiskey tastes like? if so, i will pass on asking my parents to seek out a bottle of Mellow Corn for me while they still hang out in mississippi (and yeah, the MSU Dawgs beat Ole Miss today, yeeahh!!! ).

    thanks for bearing with me. this post still didn't pan out as i had hoped. i hope folks will get my point.

    i am disappointed, heavily. but then, no financial loss. but what a multi-dimensional eye-opener!

    are all those other bottlings like AA and others that one finds ON THE BOTTOM SHELF similarly 'distinctive'?

    if so, i'll cling to my basic WT 101. i'll take that over almost anything else, any day.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by polyamnesia; 11-23-2007 at 19:12.
    HUP!

  2. #2
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    ...also...

    what suggestions would anyone have regarding using this bottle?

    • what is this peppermint stick trick i've heard about? and other 'liqueur' additives that work?

    • also, what vatting possibilities? what other whiskey could i mix with it to make a decent pour, balance it out?
    HUP!

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    The peppermint stick thing has been around since the 1930's at least: probably originally the idea was to increase the body and flavor of blended whiskey. The sugar would approximate to the wood gums from new barrel aging and the minty taste would approximate to the taste straight rye or good bourbon has.

    You could try that, but I think using it in mixed drinks (e.g., a Manhattan or Sour) would work better especially if vatted with something appropriate.

    If I had some I'd blend it with EC 12 or 18, or JDSB, or anything big and rich to "absorb" some of the feisty taste. Try 3:1 (the 1 being the HH) and work up from there.

    Or, add it to Canadian whisky, say 2:8 to start - actually you may get some very good results.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    thanks again, gary for the suggestions.

    i still need to ask, what's the mash bill?

    buying this was a good lesson. and i still hope to 'refine' this base substance into something maybe more elevated...will try to vat as well as experiment with the candy idea. maybe some red hots in one 200ml bottle. and the other with peppermint (maybe even one of those 'butter mints'). i assume the candy will totally dissolve w/ no residue
    HUP!

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    Well, look at it this way, this is one of the lowest priced distiller bottlings of bourbon on the market. Don't expect much from it. I dislike this bottling as well as EW 1783(even when it was 10yo), but enjoy the EW BIB and VROHH.

    Could it just be a case of a mashbill that doesn't suit me when both young and low proof? Likely. I do enjoy the HH mashbill at young higher proof pours, and at older ages-both lower and higher proofs.

    While there are still some incredible buys out there to be had, this bottling's just isn't one of them. Even though, it still is an example of HH at low proof and age, as a way to compare to their older and higher proof bottlings...study them side by side and find the common threads to help you understand what happens during aging.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  6. #6
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by polyamnesia View Post
    i still need to ask, what's the mash bill?
    When I did visit the distillery last year Charles Downs told me the rye recipe bourbon mash was 78-10 (rye)-12.

    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by nor02lei View Post
    When I did visit the distillery last year Charles Downs told me the rye recipe bourbon mash was 78-10 (rye)-12.

    Leif
    Regan lists it as:
    Bourbon 75-13-12
    Rye 65-23-12
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  8. #8
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by polyamnesia View Post
    ...also...

    what suggestions would anyone have regarding using this bottle?
    Hi there,
    I haven't had this bottling, though I've always meant to look into it. Here's a suggestion for how to use it. Do you have any bitters? Give it a few shakes. Any orange bitters? A couple more shakes. And here's my trick, a couple of drops of vanilla extract. I think this calls for some ice as well. Just a little sugar or simple syrup might go well, too. I did this was some Old Crow that I wanted to get through. It might not become a favorite pour, the Old Crow didn't, but it was drinkable, even enjoyable in a way.
    Ed
    Bourbon makes me happy.

    Go Fighters!

  9. #9
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    I believe the mash bill is 78%corn, 10%rye and 12%barley malt. Something like that but the important thing is HH uses the same mashbill for all its rye Bourbons and the quality level is the same.

    Their brands are blended to a certain flavor profile and that is part of why we pay a premium, the extra work, sometimes using older more expensive barrels, higher proof and advertising costs.

    Barrels outside specific flavor profiles are watered down to 80 proof, labeled with a name familiar in the market region, and sold without fanfare or advertising as bottom shelf most bang for the buck whiskies for folks who usually pour a little whiskey in a glass with a lot of mixer.

    You may consider using a heavy mixer, cooking with it or improving it along the lines Gary mentioned.

    Regards,
    Squire

  10. #10
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    Re: Heaven Hill: charcoal filtered, bottom shelf

    thanks Squire! that helps. i see that HH is WAY over the required 51% corn...and it still makes me wonder, will i NOT like MELLOW CORN? or is MC a bit older.

    maybe that's it. this stuff is simply YOUNG...but that second pour, yikes, the canned veggies and leftover cabbage sense...

    anyways, greetings from PA...i lived in Jackson MS for many years! lived most of that time on Congress Street, right down from the capital!

    cheers
    andy

    p.s. yes, i guess a mixer...the whiskey sour might be the best choice.

    but i did an experiment yesterday...i took a small 50ml maple syrup sampler bottle (shaped like a maple leaf) and poured 2/3 of the HH...dropped in a couple bits of dried orange and cranberries...topped it off with 1/3 (yep, i did it...) STAGG...less than half a shot, so, let's see if the weak youthful corn mingles well with that high proof buck!

    might add some turbinado sugar in towards the end.
    HUP!

 

 

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