PAIR OF '22 RELEASES AT HEAVEN HILL CLOCK IN AT 17 YEARS
At least when it comes to March bourbon releases. Last week I received a sample of the first Hill Heritage Collection (HHHC) release, which is a 17-year-old bourbon. This week, HH announced the release of its 2022 Spring Edition of Old-Fitzgerald Bottled-In-Bond (OFBIB) Bourbon aged, you guessed it, 17 years. The two are markedly different in every way, of course, and here’s why.
The Heritage bottle is made of a blend of barrels holding whiskey made from its traditional bourbon mashbill of 78 percent corn, 10 percent rye and 12 percent malted barley. Though age-stated at 17 years, 28 percent of the blend came from 20-year-old barrels, 44 percent came from 19-year-old barrels, and 28 percent came from 17-year-old barrels. HH rickhouse nerds will appreciate knowing those barrels came from Deatsville, Glencoe, Schenley and its main campus location.
Unlike the Parker’s Heritage Collection, which is released each fall, this new Heritage Collection will be released each spring. The SRP for this year’s release is $274.99. Each 750ml bottle will come in a premium box in signature Heaven Hill blue with the double-H insignia stamped in gold on the exterior.
The OFBIB is a wheated bourbon bottled at the bonded standard of 100 proof. At 17 years—barreled in 2004 and bottled in 2022—it’s not only the Oldest Fitz release, it’s the oldest of the spring releases. (Fall Fitz releases are commonly older.) SRP for this bottle, still held in its decorative decanter, is $185.
BOURBON & BANTER'S VIEW >> Early sips of the HHHC release bode well for an upcoming review. No sample yet for the OFBIB, but I’ll be interested in tasting this very, very Old Fitz. In recent years I’ve tended to like younger Fitz releases better. But who knows? Maybe this geezer bottle will impress.
CHATTANOOGA WHISKEY PAUSES WHOLE SINGLE BARREL SELECTIONS, ADDS NEW MULTI-MASHBILL OPTION
Chattanooga Whiskey announced due to the high demand for its single barrels, it’s pausing that program and replacing it with the 2022 Distiller’s Selection Single Barrel program. This is a mix-pack of four different High Malt bourbon recipes, each one selected by its distilling team.
"Since the inception of the Experimental Distillery in 2015, our team of distillers has crafted hundreds of unique bourbons, whiskeys and spirits,” head distiller and chief product officer Grant McCracken said in a news release. “This mix pack highlights some of our favorite bourbon mash bills, selected and scaled from our Experimental facility to our Riverfront Distillery beginning in 2017. As a collection, this family of recipes showcases our innovative history and the dynamic range inherent to our Tennessee High Malt style.”
Each of Chattanooga’s four bourbon mash bills—known as “SB091,” “wheated,” “roasted,” and “peated”—contains a variety of unique specialty malts that impart a variety of rich aromas and flavors to the whiskey. Every mix pack contains at least one bottle of each mash bill giving customers a variety of options to pick from.
The company said the new variety pack offering will make its whiskeys more “widely available
in the marketplace than in years past,” said CEO and Founder, Tim Piersant. “More importantly, though, it demonstrates our distillers’ innovative spirit, to push the limits and change the rules of great bourbon and whiskey.”
Aged for over 4 years, Chattanooga Whiskey Single Barrels are bottled at barrel strength and sold at an SRP of $59.99 per 750ml bottle. Tasting notes for each mash bill are available at chattwhiskey.com/mashbills.
BOURBON & BANTER'S VIEW >> Single barrels are red hot for all the right reasons, and you’ve got to hand it to small distilleries that work to sell these. Chattanooga’s barrel picks have garnered super reviews, but unfortunately, that’s made it a victim of its own success. Give ‘em credit for this novel approach and let’s hope its single barrels will return sooner than later.
WITH TARRIFS LIFTED, U.S WHISKEY EXPORTS TO EUROPE ARE REBOUNDING
When U.S. whiskey exports hit $975 million in 2021, it marked a sales increase of 15 percent over 2020. Good news, of course, except for the fact that they were so low the previous year and the one before that thanks to overseas tariffs. Still well below its 2018 record of $1.2 billion in exports, the Distilled Spirits Counsel of the United States views the recovery as nothing but positive. Read the DISCUS report by clicking here.
BOURBON & BANTER'S VIEW >> This rebound should never have had to happen in the first place, but we’re glad it is. In a world of thick-skulled politicians ever on the hunt for a personal ego play, such impacts are unavoidable. Hopefully, there’s not a lot of market damage to be undone. Ideally, overseas markets will return to those not-forgotten brands as better prices are realized.