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Bourbon

Heaven’s Door Exploration Series I Calvados Finish

$79.99

OVERALL
RATING

9

Whiskey Review: Heaven’s Door Exploration Series I Calvados Finish

Tasting Notes:

About:
Tennessee bourbon finished inside freshly dumped Calvados brandy casks and medium-heavy toasted French oak staves. It has been aged for at least five years, bottled at 108 proof, and is available for $79.99.
Appearance:
There’s a decidedly reddish tint to the golden-amber color in the glass, giving it an extra pleasant glow. Leg structure and viscosity are both of decent quality.
Nose:
The aromatics of this are rich, luscious, and vibrant, reflecting the extra wood exposure in an almost decadent fashion. Notes to consider include warm vanilla, baked apples, sweet brown sugar, a gentle wisp of oak, and an undercurrent of creme brûlée.
Palate:
Having tried Calvados brandy several times over the years, the expected baked apple and warm wood notes immediately jump to the front on the palate. A hint of spicy coriander, vanilla ice cream, brown sugar, maple, black currant, shades of green apple, and a kiss of light smoke joins these.
Finish:
This slides nicely into the finish, bringing a wonderful warming sensation and hints of baked apple pie into the back throat as it fades softly.
Comments:
This finished bourbon is an excellent example of a whiskey properly given extra maturation in other wood types besides new American oak. The dual Calvados and French oak stave influences are prominent, bestowing upon this Heaven’s Door offering a decidedly dessert-focused drinking experience. Well done.
Heaven’s Door Exploration Series I Calvados Finish review
We review Heaven’s Door Exploration Series I Calvados Finish, a Tennessee bourbon finished inside freshly dumped Calvados brandy casks and medium-heavy toasted French oak staves. (image via Heaven’s Door)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Heaven’s Door Spirits has, for several years now, been a pet project of legendary musical artist Bob Dylan in his role as a co-founder. The team at this whiskey brand, led by Master Distiller Ken Pierce and Master Blender Alex Moore, strives to constantly innovate with new finishing methods for a unique collection of limited-time offerings. This has led them to the recent debut of The Exploration Series.

This new whiskey lineup in the Heaven’s Door portfolio will unveil two unique expressions annually, with the first one out the door being deeply rooted in French influence.

What’s in the bottle

The Heaven’s Door Exploration Series I Calvados Finish, which is being reviewed here, started life as a matured blend of Heaven Door’s Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It is then finished inside freshly dumped Calvados brandy casks that previously held an apple brandy from Normandy, France, for at least two years.

Introduced medium-heavy toasted French oak staves also added an extra layer of wood exposure to the finishing process.

“Our new medium-heavy toasted French oak staves bring forth balanced complexity and enhanced aroma, culminating in a dark color and a smoother, creamier mouthfeel, providing a truly enriched flavor experience,” said Moore when this whiskey was released.

This expression has been aged for at least five years, bottled at 108 proof, and is available for $79.99.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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