February 28, 2006

Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Henry Mckenna Single Barrel
10 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey, Bottled in Bond
100 Proof (50% ABV)
Typical Price: About $30 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

Henry McKenna Single Barrel BourbonThis second bottle we're cracking for the Whiskey Week festivities is 10 years old, but that doesn't take any of the aggressiveness out of it. This stuff is definitely on the assertive side, and one of our reviewers said it reminded him of "Maker's Mark in steel-toed boots." Now that's an assessment that makes us want to pour ourselves a glass.

The Color: Brown
This whiskey shows a very clear, light amber color.

The Nose: Sweet and Spicy
We smelled pepper and citrus and caramel when we held the glass to our nose, and we found a light, almost floral tone to the smell. There was no burn when we sniffed it, however, and we didn't get that "just pulled a nose hair" feeling we get from some higher-proof whiskeys when we put our nose to it. Very nice.

The Flavors: A Nice, Big Bite
This one was much smoother up front than we expected, based on the high alcohol content, and we detected a mixed bag of flavors. Once again we detected caramel or sugar, and we liked the complex spiciness and oily texture as the McKenna's coated our tongues. When we swallowed we felt the burn we had expected, but it was pleasant and warming, rather than wince-inducing. We liked it straight, but once we poured it on the rocks we really felt like we'd found our drink. Spicy is the watch word here, but you can reign in the bite a bit with judicious ice cube addition.

The Recipes: Keep It On The Rocks
We didn't mix any drinks, but we thought McKenna's would go well in any specialty whiskey drinks, especially an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Julep, etc. If it ends up being too much, you can put out the fire on this one by dousing it with cola or something too sweet, but before you do, we recommend giving it a try on the rocks.

The Verdict: I'm Spicy!
We were great fans of this stuff, but we like some spice in our drink. You'll probably like Henry McKenna if you like your Bourbon kicked up and aggressive, and it's definitely a must-try for the enthusiast. We found the Maker's Mark analogy to be true up to a point, but Henry McKenna has a flavor all its own.

The Site: Check out the Bardstown Bourbon Society McKenna page for more information and reviews.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at February 28, 2006 6:46 AM
Recent Comments

Loving Henry McKenna Single Barrel 100 Proof. Sipping it neat and the review nailed what I'm experiencing right now. Nice smooth finish, but spicy. The 100 proof is under control. Smell is a heady caramel/butterscoth thang! Very Very good!

Posted by: Larry at December 18, 2009 5:02 PM

Maker's Mark is pretty much the only bourbon I drink. What's another really easy to find one that's comparable if not better? Thanks

Posted by: Darren at September 6, 2006 12:40 AM
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