Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Heaven’s Door Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
In 2018, we started writing about Heaven’s Door Spirits, which began as a partnership of legendary musician Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partnership (SIP), a liquor brand development company whose CEO Marc Bushala was a co-founder of Angel’s Envy bourbon in Kentucky. It came about when Bushala read that Dylan had registered a trademark application for “Bootleg Whiskey” in 2015. Bushala and Dylan ended up connecting, and thus Heaven’s Door was born.
Since then, The Whiskey Wash has reviewed a number of Heaven’s Door creations, and now, we’re giving their inaugural Decade Series a try. Each whiskey in the Decade Series is a limited release of whiskeys that are at least 10 years old, from selected barrels throughout the country. Release #01 is a 10-year-old straight bourbon whiskey. It’s bottled at 100 proof and is not charcoal- or chill-filtered. It retails for about $100. (I feel like I have mentioned the number 10 a lot—might this whiskey be a 10?) And according to the Whiskey Advocate, it’s a high-rye Tennessee bourbon (22 percent rye) that comes from a lot of 290 barrels. (Okay, fewer tens in there but still.)
Do I roll my eyes when I hear about celebrity endeavors that are not purely about their celebrity? Yeah, I do. I understand diversification of a brand—and being a celebrity is a brand, sure—but then I also feel like some of them are a reach and some of them are bandwagon-jumpers and some of them make sense, but very few. I don’t know, though, I like my celebs and my drinking separate, generally. I find it’s too much noise otherwise. Can I be convinced? Maybe?
Tasting Notes: Heaven’s Door Spirits Decade Series Release #01
Vital stats: About $100, 100 proof, high-rye (22 percent) Tennessee bourbon; 10 years old.
Appearance: Light brown to gold, dark tan, like gingerbread that darkens as it cools.
Nose: Speaking of gingerbread, there is some ginger on the nose. Not as spicy as gingerbread, but it is sweet. Graham crackers with cinnamon, but the cinnamon smells a little synthetic, like it’s made in a factory. And toffee.
Palate: Cinnamon on the palate too, and a little fake-tasting here as well. I wrote about a Yellowstone whiskey recently that screamed it was 100 proof, and I feel like that about this one, too. It starts spicy and ends sweet, and I wish it started a little smoother too; it smooths out by the end but it definitely calls attention to itself. Look how rock & roll I am, it boasts. It’s not a personal affront, but it’s like the palate equivalent of making my ears ring. Like I’m at a show (and I don’t enjoy live music, most of it sounds like loud to me) and I would rather be home in bed having washed all the sweat and people off me and be reading a book.
That said, I did give this a try a couple days later and I found myself liking it more than I did initially. Maybe it needed time to grow on me. Like a song. It started as a 3 and I’m going to bump it to a 3.5. It’s kinda catchy.