Heaven Hill Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: March 25, 2013 in American Whiskies, Rye

Pikesville Straight Rye  40%

Tasted: Mar 2009

An incredibly clean nose of lovely rich oak and crisp rye grains along with a touch of violets. It has a lovely balance and depth with a touch of bubblegum and smoke. Soft on the palate with the grains to the fore. Spice and a delicate touch of oak follow. The piquant intensity builds nicely. Straightforward and well made. Excellent value for money. It never becomes too oaky and the earthy rye always stays in control with an amazing clarity.

Pikesville 6 year old Straight Rye 110 Proof 55%

Tasted: Oct 2015

Nose: Dense and robust with treacle, dark rye bread, dark spices and dark herbs. Yes, it’s a bit dark! Hints of sweet oak adds some lightness and corn adds some sweetness. With time earth, liquorice and roasted coffee notes appear.

Palate: Full of toffee-treacle, dark rye and dark wood spices. So dense that you could cut it with a knife! Hints of sweet corn and honey come through along with some subtle vanilla but the oak is becoming increasingly bitter.

Finish: Intense, mouth-watering finish. The bitter spices grab you by the doobries and refuse to let go! That’s good though!

Conclusion: It’s a bit hardcore this one. If you have an allergy to bitter spices then I’d leave this well alone!

Rittenhouse Rye 40%

Tasted: Dec 2016

The nose opens with sweet, buttery and binary corn with hints of spicy rye, black pepper and violets. I’m surprised at how dominant the corn element is. With time the rye fights back and a touch of orange and toffee’d oak appear.

The palate is crisper and shows more rye character, but it’s a bit watery. Subtly spiced, with the oak bittering on the middle although some sweet corn and toffee offsets. Relatively straightforward with a good, earthy and spicy rye finish.

Rittenhouse 100 Proof Rye 50%

Tasted: Jan 2018

A lovely, intensely spicy nose with violets, dark chocolate and grippy tannins. A touch of toasted corn adds a balancing sweetness as does a subtle treacle and an almost wheaty note.

The palate displays dry, earthy and spicy rye with hints of corn and sweet oak. The spicy rye is the focus here, just like the nose. A touch of orange and apricot comes through on the middle but damn, that’s a seriously spicy finish.

Rittenhouse Rye 25 year old 50%

Cask No16/ Tasted: Nov 2010

A stunning nose, loaded with sweet grains, candy floss and plenty of that bitter rye bite. Deep and luscious with plenty of oak, nutty/ oily-vanilla, sweet toffee, sandalwood and oak smoke. Superb! The palate opens with a wave of dried fruit, walnuts and grain. This is followed by mouth puckering alcohol with hints of liquorice, bitter chocolate and toffee. The oak wades in towards the end with a mountainous amount of vanillins. Yet in saying that the balance is in no way compromised. It’s stunning; it languidly flows from beginning to end. A fabulous way to end the evening.

With water the nose becomes more fragrant with hints of pecan tart, drizzled with rich, coffee essence. Likewise the palate becomes more fragrant too, with a lovely violet twist to the fruit. Now this is definitely worth the £190 price tag!



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