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2009 Heaven Hill 10 Year Old "Archives Whisky From The Whiskybase Team" K&L Exclusive Single Cask #496 American Whiskey (750ml) SKU #1476746

Price: $119.99

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Tasting Notes

The wonderful whiskies coming from the WhiskyBase team are finally available in the US and K&L is the exclusive retailer for the brand throughout California. One of the oddities of the Scottish whisky industry has been the release of several American whiskies from Bourbon mashbills aged partially in Europe. These weird wonderful whiskies have been released by famous names like Cadenhead's and The Boutique-y Whiskey Company, but we've rarely seen these unusual products imported back into the US. Now, thanks to our relationship with the wonderful team being Archives, we've secured one of just a handful of these excellent Heaven Hill barrels that have made their way back into the US. There are huge differences in maturation between Scotland and Kentucky, but there's still something inherently bourbon-y about this special spirit. This whisky spent six years in Kentucky in used cooperage before making the journey to Scotland four 4 more years. The aromatics still rest resoundingly in the sweet orchard fruit and vanilla, but instead of caramel and spice, it's ripe, fresh fruit. Instead of Pungent and smoky, the vanilla is subtle and floral. Behind the pretty aromatics are powerful exotic flavors. At an impressive 133.2 proof you’d expect the heat to be overwhelming without the sweetness of new oak, but this remains surprisingly supple and drinkable. We do recommend a splash of water and while it’s provenance is unusual, it remains a distinctly American spirit unlike any other.

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Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    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.


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