Classification: Straight Corn Whiskey
Company: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Release Date: March 2023
Age: 20 Years
Mashbill: 80% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 8% Rye
Color: Light Gold
MSRP: $290 (2023)
Funky oak | Orange marmalade | Creamed corn | Dry leather
Aged oak | Funky oak | Buttered cornbread | Candy corn | Banana cream pie | Rich, creamy mouthfeel | Unique
Mild heat | Baking spices | Vanilla custard | Aged oak | Medium length
A 20 year old 115 proof corn whiskey, the 2nd edition of Heaven Hill’s Heritage Collection exceeds expectations.
The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection was launched in 2022. According to the company’s press release, “Each spring, this annual, highly limited release will feature some of the distillery’s oldest inventory of aging whiskey, continuing the standard of excellence Heaven Hill has practiced since 1935. Each release in the ultra-premium collection features one of the six traditional American Whiskey mashbills produced by Heaven Hill, the only heritage distillery to produce this range.” This release features 110 barrels that were distilled in October 2002 and aged on the third floor of Rickhouse 1K.
To say bourbon fans have been wanting a high proof, high aged version of Mellow Corn is an understatement. The premier corn whiskey, and maybe the only corn whiskey most people reading this can recite without an internet search, Mellow Corn Bottled in Bond is Heaven Hill’s value-packed bottled in bond corn whiskey that’s available for under $15 a bottle. While many would have been happy with a younger barrel proof variation, putting out a 115 proof version at 20 years old exceeds expectations in many regards.
This 20 year old corn whiskey exhibits a good deal of aged oak characteristics in its flavor profile. Undoubtedly due to its high age, the oak flavors integrate well with the corn whiskey flavors in a way that is different from high aged bourbon, forming a wholly unique experience that is unlike other whiskeys I’ve tasted. Where I expected an experience similar to a high aged light whiskey, instead the experience falls somewhere in between light whiskey and bourbon; rich, creamy, sweet, and amplified by oak. The end result certainly is not a daily sipper, but it’s so satisfyingly unique and enjoyable, that it easily commands its price point. This whiskey has you wishing there was a higher aged, higher proof corn whiskey more readily available to consumers in the market at any given time.