Heaven Hill 2001 – Islay Cask Finish – Malts of Scotland

I enjoy a good bourbon / whiskey from time to time, and when I heard of this release a year or so ago from my good friend and whisky lover Sjoerd, I decided to opt for a 10 cl sample, before i buy a bottle. It’s not everyday you see an indie bottling of a 15-year-old Heaven Hill, finished in ex-Islay casks.

Now, finishing a whisky in Islay casks is not actually THAT rare, but it’s usually done to single malts (The Balvenie for example , or Balblair 1990), I don’t think I ever tried an American whisky finished in an Islay cask, that sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Heaven Hill 2001-2016, Islay Cask Finish, 53.8% – Malts of Scotland 

Image :Whiskybase

This is also quite old in American whiskey standards (15 years, that is), so a lot of wood, is expected, something I am known have enjoyed in the past… So. what not try it?

Nose: sweet corn and a lot of wood up front, some pine, wee smoke but only a hint… Varnish and some vegetal notes too,and also ripe fruit and vinegar.
Palate:  lovely earthy peat intertwined with sweet corn,wood and sawdust, quite dry with cinnamon,and sweet maple. The peat adds a nice dimension and complexity.
Finish : dry and spicy. Wood,chilly, burnt sugar 
Bottom line: 
This is a really yummy Heaven Hill whiskey , It’s not one of the most complex whiskey I’ve had, but the smoke is well integrated and the Islay cask did add a nice layer of aromas / flavors, which is quite nice actually. It’s got a lot of wood (as can be expected from a 15 year old american whisky…). I quite liked it, but not enough to spend € 119.95 (still available online in some shops , here for example).

Score: 85/100

Thanks for the bottle share Sjoerd.

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