That Boutique-y Whisky Co. – Heaven Hill 9 y.o. Corn Whiskey (Batch 1) Review

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The brainchild of the geniuses behind Master of Malt, That Boutique-y Whisky Company (hereafter referred to as Boutique-y) is an independent bottler that sources and bottles whiskies from distilleries all over the world. Known for their unusual and interesting offerings (gin that’s ingredients have been to space anyone?) each bottle also sports an informative graphic-novel-style label that gives the drinker everything they need to know about the whiskey, gin, or otherwise, through the use of clever references, puns, and industry in-jokes. When it comes to their range of whiskies the Boutique-y Whisky company have released everything from single barrel offerings, in-house blends, rare whiskies of extraordinary age and provenance, and even some spirits too young to call whiskey from craft, mid-, and large-scale distilleries the world over.

Heaven Hill (Corn) B1.jpg

With its headquarters in Bardstown, KY, and distilling operations in Louisville, KY, Heaven Hill is the largest independent family-owned and operated producers of distilled spirits products in the US, and the second largest holder of ageing American Whiskey in the world. Producing five distinct mashbills, the distillery and company has seen massive growth since they were first established after Prohibition with their numerous brands consistently picking up top awards across the board.

Today I’ll be looking at this independent bottling of 9 year old corn whiskey sourced from Heaven Hill by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. As part of their 5 distinct mashbills Heaven Hill produce a unique straight corn whiskey under their Mellow Corn brand. Typically aged much longer than other corn whiskies on the market (4 years +) this whiskey is aged in used Heaven Hill cooperage and has been a Bottled-in-Bond product since its introduction in 1945. Today’s bottling falls just under the 50% requirement to be labelled Bottled-in-Bond.

Before I get into my review I thought I’d quickly run through what corn whiskey is for those readers who have either overlooked it as a category or are yet to come across it. Like other types of whiskey produced in the US, corn whiskey is defined under US Federal law as a distinct whiskey that has to follow a set of rules as follows:

“Corn whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125° proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.

https://www.ttb.gov/images/pdfs/spirits_bam/chapter4.pdf

In a nutshell it has to come from a mash of at least 80% corn and be aged in a used or uncharred new oak container (such as a barrel).

Vital Stats:

Name: Straight Corn Whiskey Heaven Hill – Batch 1
Age: 9 years old
Proof: 99 Proof (49.5% ABV)
Type: Straight corn whiskey
Mashbill: 90% Corn, 10% Rye and Malted Barley
Producer: That Boutique-y Whisky Company, sourced from Heaven Hill Distillery, KY
Website:  https://www.thatboutiqueywhiskycompany.com/whiskies/heaven-hill-corn-whiskey?rq=corn
Glassware: Glencairn

Review

Nose: The nose opens soft with notes of buttery corn, a touch of earthy spice, faint red fruit, and subtle caramel.

Palate: The palate opens viscous with fresh cut grass, peppery spice, subtle earthy oak, and faint dark chocolate developing in the back as you chew.

Finish: The finish opens with subtle spice before notes of grass and fruit and peppery emerge and fade leaving a creamy aftertaste.

Overall 

When it comes to corn whiskey it’s a style that really just is what it is. I think the addition of 10% rye grain in the Heaven Hill mashbill is really where anything past creamy buttery corn notes comes from here and the barrel only adds a touch of flavour. Due to the fact that corn whiskey goes into used cooperage it doesn’t pick up much colour or flavour from the barrel itself and shouldn’t by its very design. Instead, in this case corn is king, with creamy and oily notes a-plenty with only a touch of flavour from the remaining grains and barrel. This bottling is a great example for lovers of other whiskey styles or even novice drinkers that wonder what a higher proof corn whiskey with a decent age-statement tastes like. For beginners, it’s a very soft start to whiskey in general that offers an easy introduction with a nice mouthfeel and no offending flavours whatsoever. For novice and experienced drinkers it serves as both a gateway whiskey for American whiskey or an abrupt change from the usual flavours fans of American whiskey would typically seek out. Boutique-y are known for sourcing interesting whiskies and styles that give drinkers something out of the ordinary from well-known distilleries and this bottling is no different. Heaven Hill don’t produce a below 100 proof corn whiskey that isn’t bottled in bond so through crafty blending they’ve definitely provided something that gives you a new perspective on a very traditional style of American whiskey.

Try or Buy?

If I was going to buy a bottle of this it would be for exactly the reasons I listed above. Either as a bottle for a beginner whiskey drinker, as an introduction to someone that already appreciates other styles of whiskey and wants to have a gentle introduction to American whiskey, or to have something unique and different in my collection than I can find anywhere else and from a Distillery with a proud corn whiskey pedigree. With an RRP of £44.95 it’s not going to break the bank either and with regular sales in whiskey shops and whiskey websites you’re bound to find this at a price you couldn’t refuse.

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