Bourbon Review: Henry McKenna

Henry McKenna Single Barrel is a lesser-known bourbon and one that I haven’t had in my collection for very long. It’s an extra-aged bottled in bond single barrel bourbon. It is distilled and bottled by Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Kentucky. (Notice in the photo that Lynn’s beloved roses are in full bloom – just in time for the Kentucky Derby!)

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Here is a little history from their website:

In 1837, a young man from Ireland known for his remarkable whiskey-making skills, came to America with his family’s whiskey recipe that had been passed down for generations. Young Mr. McKenna settled in Kentucky and discovered the uniquely American drink known as Bourbon. McKenna instantly took a liking to Kentucky whiskey and set out to create a better Bourbon using his family’s recipe. To ensure the highest quality, he insisted that his Bourbon age in oak barrels before bottling. From this process, highly unusual for the time, emerged a remarkably smooth Bourbon boasting a distinctive character.

This is a high proof bourbon without the normal bite you would expect. It has a wonderful aroma delivering a lot of spice and caramel. Some say mint, but I didn’t experience it (guess I should try it again tomorrow). The mint apparently comes from the yeast that Heaven Hill uses. You can really smell the oak in it as well.

I was very impressed with the first sip and it kept delivering flavor with different nuances of taste and experience. The bottle I have has a label that says, “Hand selected by the Staff of Hi Times Wine Cellars.” I am guessing you would get about the same great taste with any bottle but this one was selected by them.

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If you have read a few of my posts you know I am a packaging geek. This bottle is very tastefully done. In describing the bottle, the brand says, “Commensurate with its status as a super-premium single barrel product, it features an antiqued strip stamp and a booklet neck hanger that tells the story of Henry McKenna, and explains the terms ‘single barrel’ and ‘bottled-in-bond.’  The face label also graphically emphasizes the ‘Aged 10 Years’ and ‘Since 1855’ statements, and has an area where the specific barrel number and ‘barreled on’ date for each bottle is hand-written.”

I would highly recommend you try a bottle. I was pleased first sip to last. If you haven’t been to Heaven Hill make them a stop on your hike of the Bourbon Trail and get a bottle from the source.

Aged: 10 years
Proof: 100
Color: Deep Mahogany
Price: $24.99 for 740mL at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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