Heaven Hill Quality House
I’m a fan of many of the products from Heaven Hill - one of the largest family-owned spirits companies in the world. Many flock to their premium Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond or Elijah Craig brands or even the re-introduced Heaven Hill 7-year Bottled-in-Bond. This cousin to their premium brands is a fraction of the going price. Will it be a “quality” bourbon or “quality-lacking” bourbon?
Heaven Hill Quality House relies on the traditional 1940's style Heaven Hill label (which I just love!). This bottle could easily be a stunt double in your favorite black and white noir movie. The label shares that the bourbon is "Made in Bardstown, Kentucky, the heart of Bourbon Country. Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon is named for the spring that ran through the distillery grounds. This spring originally provided the pure, limestone water used to produce this fine Bourbon. Today, Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon continues its legacy as a fine Kentucky Bourbon".
It is labeled as "Kentucky Straight Bourbon", indicating it is a product of Kentucky and is at least 2 years of age (rumor has it, this is closer to a 3-4 year product), has been charcoal filtered after aging, and has been bottled at 80 proof.
If you've followed my blog, you're familiar with my love for the former Heaven Hill 6-year Bottled-in-Bond product that carried a very similar bottling. I'd made the mistake once of grabbing a couple bottles of this, thinking I'd found the 6-Year Bottled-in-Bond. A word to the wise - always slow down, and fully take in the label.
Let's see what's inside.
Eye: Amber with a few thick legs on the sides of the glass.
Nose: This is pretty classic Heaven Hill, with vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. There are some sweet apple, almond marzipan, and baking spice notes- like a warm apple strudel. Quality House has a quality nose!
Palate: Vanilla, apple pie with a buttery, doughy crust. Very, very gentle oak and just a hint of baking spice one the back side.
Finish: Short, with vanilla, and very light oak and spice.
Overall: I've shared before that one of the BEST under-appreciated bourbons out there is Heaven Hill's 6-Year Green Label Bourbon. With a limited distribution, this bourbon was almost exclusively found in Kentucky. Prior to 2020, this was easily found, on a bargain-shelf, and could out-taste bourbons four times its price point. Thanks to a pandemic, and difficulties in bottling, that bourbon is currently hard to locate.
As a result, I went to the next-best-thing and gave this a try. This bourbon is straight-forward, uncomplicated, incredibly smooth without bite, and very drinkable. If you're new to bourbon or looking for a simple, smooth, and easy-sipper for enjoying neat, in a cocktail, or as part of your favorite marinade or baking recipe, you won't be disappointed with Heaven Hill Quality House.
While I'll be on the lookout for your older Green Label sibling, Quality House, you're an enjoyable (and quality) pour!