American Whiskey Review #90: Single Cask Nation Pre-Fire Kentucky Straight Bourbon 24 Year (1994)
Distillery: Likely Heaven Hill
Bottler: Jewish Whisky Company
Age: 24 Year. Distilled in 1994, bottled in 2020. 12 years aging in Kentucky, 12 years aging in Scotland.
ABV: 47.40% Cask Strength
Color: 1.9, Brown Sherry.
Nose: It’s quite deep and rich from the start. The first note I get is of caramelized onions in a balsamic reduction. Cinnamon candies comes along with a note of toasted marshmallows and old oak. The standard bourbon-y notes come through as well, it’s almost like smelling a bourbon infused food than bourbon itself.
Palate: It’s quite rich. It starts off with a nice, dripping oak note. That oak is soaked in “bourbon-y” flavors of caramel, cherry, cola, and a bit of sweet tobacco. There’s a toasted note, somewhere between a sweet wood smoke and slightly charred marshmallows. Towards the end is a bit of a dried herb mix.
Finish: Quite long. That sweet tobacco comes through again some more with slightly charred marshmallows. A bit of cinnamon and toasted oak round this out..
Conclusion: I’m not sure there is a more obvious description for an “unknown” distillery than the words “fire” and “Kentucky”. This release of Heaven Hill from Single Cask Nation is a bit unique even among things from that era with half of the maturation occurring in Scotland rather than in America. And that mix of maturation has worked beautifully. There’s a lot of oak throughout this, a bit toasted and a bit soaking wet, but none of it ever overpowers everything else. There’s layers of delicious flavor, starting with caramelized onions then going to toasted/slightly charred marshmallows and ending with a hit of sweet tobacco. I was left wanting more though the chances of that are very slim. Well done to the guys at Single Cask Nation, well done.
Final Score: 90.
American Whiskey Review #90, Bourbon Review #68, Whisky Network Review #387
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.