Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond review
Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Type & Region: Bourbon, Kentucky, USA
Composition: 78% corn, 10% rye, 12% barley
Aged: 7 years in virgin American white oak
From the Heaven Hill website:
“This Kentucky Bourbon pays tribute to the earliest days of the Distillery’s history when in 1939 it released Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond. The namesake brand quickly became the number-one-selling Bourbon whiskey in the state of Kentucky. Still today, the craftsmanship poured into this bottle by the same founding family meets the exacting standards first set forth in the Bottled-in-Bond act of 1897.”
Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond overview
In 2019, Heaven Hill discontinued their 6 year old Bottled in Bond bourbon and replaced it with Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond Bourbon, which I am reviewing here. While I think the 6 year old was only sold in Kentucky, the 7 year has slightly broader distribution across chunks of the US, but for some reason is not sold in the Mid-Atlantic where I live. Oh well.
In context with Heaven Hill’s other bourbons, this 7 year old bottled in bond bourbon at $40-50 is priced higher than Elijah Craig Small Batch and around the same as Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel Bottled in Bond. The 7 year also has a lot in common with Evan Williams Bottled in Bond because of the bottled in bond designation. You can read more about what bottled in bond means here. In terms of age, the Heaven Hill 7 year is older than Evan Williams Bottled in Bond (probably 4 years old) but likely younger than Elijah Craig Small Batch (probably a blend of 8-12 year barrels). Now that you’re amply educated, let’s get to tasting in this Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond bourbon review.
Heaven Hill Lineup of Reviews
As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for my reviews and comparisons (because they’re the best): Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass, Set of 6, Clear, 6 Pack. Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.
Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond smell
Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond starts with caramel chew candy, slightly funky vanilla buttercream, gentle dried grassy nuttiness, dried orange peel, fragrant roasted oak peppercorns, and hints of strawberry, starfruit, and milk chocolate with little heat. Caramel and vanilla lead the way with some of that Heaven Hill nuttiness and oakiness afterwards. This smells decent but is generally shallow and flat, although the oak does a little to liven it up.
Swirling brings out more caramel and roasted vanilla, then sliced orange, roasted oak, licorice, cinnamon, baked apple, roasted coconut meat, and anise. Over time I get a little more of the fragrant oak and dried grass, and less of the nuttiness. Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond overall smells fine but really not that developed, rich, or interesting, which is strange for a 7 year old and 100 proof bourbon. Everything is surface level and dull with little special or memorable about it – unfortunate.
Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond taste & aftertaste
Caramel, orange, red apple, licorice, oak, cinnamon, and very little heat come with my first sip. “Chewing” gives me roasted caramel, more oak, cocoa, roasted vanilla, dry nuttiness, dried orange peel with cocktail bitters, red apple, licorice, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, and roasted grains. The flavors have an extra dryness to it, as well as something I can best describe as flat and dull.
The finish has gentle honey, a slightly dark and herbal Coca Cola flavor, and a sprinkle of oak tannins, mint, and licorice. After “chewing”, I’m left with more oak followed by caramel, licorice, and orange.
I’m very disappointed. Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond tastes fine, but it lacks any meaningful depth or stand out trait. It’s a completely serviceable, drinkable, and forgettable bourbon.
Whiskey is also for sharing, so I use Vivaplex, 12, Amber, 2 oz Glass Bottles, with Lids for smaller samples and Vivaplex, 12, Amber, 4 oz Glass Bottles, with Lids for larger ones. Full transparency – This is an Amazon affiliate link so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else. Regardless, I actually use these myself.
Place on the Whiskey Shelf
What in the…Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond drinks like a watered-down Evan Williams Bottled in Bond (a great $20 bourbon by the way). Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond smells and tastes fine enough with some caramel, vanilla, fruit, oak, and spice, but virtually everything about it seems lifeless like a soda left out for a few hours. It’s a forgettable bourbon that I don’t think is as good as Evan Williams Bottled in Bond or Elijah Craig Small Batch, which is insane because Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond is the most expensive and difficult to find of the three.
Before releasing their 7 year, Heaven Hill cut off some / all of their 7 year old stock to competitors that made Virgin 7 Year 101 proof and Old Ezra 7 Year 101 Proof, and I can smell and taste why Heaven Hill did that. Virgin 7 Year is far richer and more interesting…a fantastic bourbon at a wallet-busting $17-20 nonetheless, while Heaven Hill’s offering is $40-50. Removing the competition, releasing a worse product, and charging more are shrewd business decisions.
Here’s my consumer advice for you – I recommend that you skip Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond and get the superior Elijah Craig Small Batch instead. You can send me your savings from following that recommendation if you’re so inclined. You’re welcome.