Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky has been distilling since 1935. Over the years they’ve amassed an inventory of 1.9 million barrels of aging spirits in more than 65 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. Every once in a while, they dig into their massive inventory and pull out some surprises. And with the announcement of a 20-year-old straight corn whiskey release, today is one of those days.
2023 Edition of the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection
Heaven Hill has announced the latest addition to the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection and as a surprise to many, it’s not a bourbon or rye whiskey. The 2023 Heaven Hill Heritage Collection is a 20-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey. Each spring, this annual, highly limited release features some of the distillery’s oldest inventory of aging whiskey.
Distilled in 2002 by Master Distiller Parker Beam
This edition features Heaven Hill’s Corn Whiskey mashbill, comprised of 80% corn, 12% malted barley and 8% rye, and is bottled at 115 proof. With an age statement of 20 years, this release is made up entirely of 110 barrels produced in October 2002 by Master Distiller Parker Beam. These barrels were pulled from the third floor of Rickhouse 1K.
Unlike bourbon which must be aged in charred new oak containers (barrels), this corn whiskey was aged in used bourbon barrels. The full TTB definition of Corn Whiskey and Straight Corn Whiskey can be found below.
Tasting notes provided by the distillery say this release offers a distinct nose of toasted corn and oak spices. A testament to its age, the initial notes on the palate include aged oak and walnuts followed by a finish of wood spices with hints of corn sweetness.
“The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection reflects the true craftsmanship, patience and consistency which are hallmarks of Heaven Hill’s whiskey making traditions,” says Master Distiller Conor O’ Driscoll.
“The ability to offer consumers an ultra-aged corn whiskey product is a true testament to the forward-thinking innovation the company has practiced for decades and continues to practice to this day.”
As with the inaugural release, the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 750ml bottle will be accompanied by a premium box in signature Heaven Hill blue with the double-H insignia stamped in gold to signify Heaven Hill. A signature of the Collection, specific attributes such as warehouse site location, production date, mashbill percentages, and other designations are noted prominently on the packaging.
Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 20-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey will launch nationally on a limited basis with a suggest retail price of $289.99 and will begin shipping on March 1, 2023.
What is Corn Whiskey?
We see bourbon releases all the time so the TTB guidelines for bourbon are pretty well known. We don’t see too many releases for Corn Whiskey, let alone Straight Corn Whiskey. To help understand the differences we turned to the official TTB guidelines to share what makes this Straight Corn Whiskey release unique.
TTB Definition of Corn Whiskey & Straight Corn Whiskey
GENERAL CLASS DEFINITION: Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).
TYPE: CORN WHISKY³
GENERAL TYPE DEFINITION: Whisky produced at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood.
What is Straight Corn Whiskey? (Same as above with two additions)
TYPE: STRAIGHT CORN WHISKY³
GENERAL TYPE DEFINITION:
- Corn whisky stored in used or uncharred new oak containers for 2 years or more
- “Straight Corn Whisky” may include mixtures of two or more straight corn whiskies provided all of the whiskies are produced in the same state
Heaven Hill Heritage Collection v. Parker’s Heritage Collection
Heaven Hill has created two ultra-premium, limited-edition collections under the Heritage Collections name. The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection is complementary to its more innovative counterpart, the Parker’s Heritage Collection. Together, these offerings form the Heritage Collections. Here is how they compare.
Heaven Hill Heritage Collection
- Released every Spring
- Classic and traditional
- Typically 15 years or older
Parker’s Heritage Collection
- Released every Fall
- Typically 8 years or older
Heaven Hill Distillery was founded by the Shapira family in 1935 and continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Heaven Hill Distillery is home to a collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, Parker’s Heritage Collection, and Old Fitzgerald along with its extensive Bottled-in-Bond label collection.
Learn more about the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience.
View all Bardstown and Nelson County Distilleries.
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