If you like brands that come out of the gate strong and full of passion then you’ll enjoy Heaven’s Door. Heaven’s Door is a collaboration between the well-known musician Bob Dylan and co-founder of Angel’s Envy, Marc Bushala.
You can see Dylan’s influence throughout the brand. For instance, the name is based on his famous song, Knockin’ on Heavens Door. The iron gate artwork depicted on each bottle was designed by Dylan himself in his metalwork studio. I didn’t realize he was a metal artist. Dylan is a full partner in this project and brings all his passions to it.
For Bushala’s part, he is the CEO of Spirits Investment Partners (SIP), the company that is partnered with Dylan on this project. The team isn’t restricted to deadlines, budget, or a set taste profile. Partnering with craft whiskey veterans can make all the difference in finished products.
The whiskey is currently sourced from undisclosed locations. However, there are plans in the works to open a new distillery in 2019. The distillery will be housed in an old church in Nashville, Tennessee where Dylan recorded four albums.
The new Heaven’s Door whiskeys were launched in early 2018 as a trio of American whiskies, having been designed to be approachable for Dylan’s laid-back fan base and not just whiskey aficionados. I found myself sitting back, listening to Dylan’s music and feeling really at ease while enjoying them.
Tasting Notes: Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon
Vital Stats: 90 proof, ~7 years, 70% corn, 20% rye mash bill, $50-60
Appearance: Pale amber
Nose: The bourbon has a strong, warm, sweet yet spicy aroma with hints of cherry and sourdough. I found it has an aroma of warm baked bread.
Palate: It has a full, thick mouthfeel. It has the added fullness of butterscotch and honey. It’s full of cinnamon, cherry, and brown sugar notes as you’d expect from a bourbon. Plus, the higher rye content lends to a spicy peppery taste.
Final Thoughts: Although it’s Tennessee whiskey, it’s made Kentucky style without the Lincoln County charcoal filtering process. This bourbon has a wonderfully thick mouthfeel and warm delightful spices. It’s my preferred whiskey of the trio, the flavors keep coming and coming.
Tasting Notes: Heaven’s Door Straight Rye Whiskey
Vital Stats: 92 proof, blend of three whiskeys, $50-60
Appearance: Similar to the bourbon with pale amber color.
Nose: I think it smells of fresh pecans and oak wood.
Palate: I find it has a fresh taste of hay and oak with a hint of caramel apple. The rye reveals spicy flavors of anise and clove.
Final Thoughts: When comparing to the bourbon, the mouthfeel falls flat. It’s like the difference between coffee (bourbon) and tea (rye). It’s not as spicy as most ryes.
Tasting Notes: Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey
Vital Stats: 100 proof, finished in cigar barrels from Vosges, France, $80-90
Appearance: The Double Barrel is darker amber, it has a golden amber hue.
Nose: The rye has a clove spicy aroma with heavy wood influence and I could smell a hint of fresh dough.
Palate: It has a somewhat nutty flavor with toasted wood taste. Toasted bread flavors with butterscotch candy linger on the palate.
Final Thoughts: It has a nutty taste which I associate with some Jim Beam and Tennessee whiskeys. The nutty flavor is not my preference, but I give it a 3.5 because it does morph a bit sip by sip, changing slightly making it more fun.