Here is the followup to a huge side by side tasting I did involving twenty years of Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond. The TL;DR version is after trying some amazing Henry McKennas distilled in the mid 80s that run circles around the current product, I thought it would be fun to run through the years since then to see how the profile has changed. The grand side by side turned into a bit of a disaster though as there were just too many samples involved. In an attempt to salvage some sense of usefulness, I'm running through what vintages I have remaining in a more typical review style. On deck we have:
- Barrel No. 0083, Barreled on 12/05/86
- Barrel No. 0208, Barreled on 05/01/92
- Barrel No. 0232, Barreled on 04/19/93
- Barrel No. 0324, Barreled on 05/09/95
- Barrel No. 0328, Barreled on 05/20/96
- Barrel No. 0842, Barreled on 10/24/01
- Barrel No. 1024, Barreled on 05/30/02
(Left) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 232, Barreled on 04/19/93
(Right) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 3035, Barreled on 03/14/06
Nose: Pretty typical sweet bourbon notes and some spice like eucalyptus. It's richer, sweeter, and has more oak depth than the current product which smells light and young by comparison.
Taste: Rich, syrupy bourbon flavors. The sweet notes are deep, the oak notes have a lot of depth, and the mouthfeel is hefty. I hate to keep saying this but it's almost like you can chew on this stuff. Tastes more condensed and has more flavor than it should for 10 years and 100 proof.
Thoughts: This is similar to the 1992 barrel that I just reviewed in that it's really dense for a 10 year old 100 proof product. Side by side, the current product tastes grainy, thin, and young. This one isn't quite as solid as the best of these I've had and I think the color is a great indicator of that because while it's darker it's not as stark as some other examples. All in all it's a rich and easy to drink hallmark bourbon.
Rating: B / B+
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.