Henry McKenna was a sprite Irish gentlemen who upon arriving in Kentucky made good and fine use of the abundant grain around him. He did what any Scots-Irish worth his salt would do back then: distill everything and sell it. He also invented the Blarney Stone and loved U2. I normally don’t put much effort into parsing out the details with the many historical figures many modern bourbon brands are named after, however, I will say that it is worth the time to read into our country’s storied past with distilling our grains grown on the fruited plain. There is so much to learn, not just about whiskey, but about how people lived, farmed and executed their commerce. Maybe one needs an already possessed love of history to find the value in bourbon’s past, but for the rest, just buy the bottle and drink it. McKenna won’t mind.
Our selection today is made from Heaven Hill in Bardstown, KY and is called Henry McKenna 10 year Old Single Barrel Bottled in Bond. Lots of good details here. We have a nicely aged distillate in single barrel form, allowing for a variety of flavor subtleties from barrel to barrel, and of course the well appreciated designation of Bottled in Bond (explained here). The mash bill slash line of 75% corn/13% rye/12% barley is shared with Evan Williams and Elijah Craig and is bottled with the strict BIB ABV of 50%. On to it…
Nose- Spicy rye bread with a perfumed sweetness coming through. Bourbon orthodoxy. Cherry syrup. Vanilla and caramel round out with ever present oak.
Taste- Repeat of nose with burnt sugar, a light mouthfeel. Crème brule and spearmint.
Finish- Oak char, dry, medium length. Strong and powerful.
Comment- We loved this one. As previously mentioned, this is bourbon orthodoxy in a bottle (where else?). Nice familiar flavors with lovely balance. Some power, too.
SWC Rating- 87/100
Agree? Disagree? Go easy, I am delicate.