By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
This oddity is part of an unusual category of American whiskies aged partially out of the country. This one spent at least six years in Kentucky before making the transatlantic journey to Scotland for further aging and bottling. Distilled at the Heaven Hill facility in Louisville known as Bernheim, it was aged in second use American oak for its entire life. We call this "the devil's cask," as it's bottled at a staggering 133.2 proof, making the abv exactly 66.6%. The nose is fiery and raw at first; arresting, to say the least. Behind the intense nose are candied fruits and dried cinnamon. While I don't usually recommend adding water to cask strength bourbon (this isn't bourbon, but still), this loves water as well as any single malt would. Once you've added some water the bourbon character becomes much more evident. Beautiful balances between sweet stewed fruit, exotic spices, and elegant vanilla. Once it hits your lips we're distinctly into bourbon territory, with a rich texture and a bold sweetness. We've moved more toward the orchard fruits, dried apple and hints of mango, with a building spice on the finish. An excellent spirit that doesn't fit any category well, but simply drinks like a dream. Don't forget to give it a good splash to unlock its character. It's a shame this style is considered an oddity, but considering how delicious and unusual this is, I wish we could have stuff like this all the time! Grab it while it lasts, as we've only got one barrel for the whole year.