Henry McKenna Bourbon comes to us from the fine folks at Heaven Hill. It uses the same mashbill as Evan Williams and Elijah Craig and Fighting Cock. It’s just younger, bottled at a lower proof and likely aged in a different part of the warehouse than the others. Likely towards the bottom where temperatures don’t fluctuate as much as at the top which leads to a less rich and less complex spirit.
However, there is nothing wrong with that. The world needs cheap, accessible bourbon and this fills that niche admirably. The large liter sized bottle also makes it a nice distraction so no one notices the bottle of Henry McKenna single barrel you have hiding in the back of your liquor shelf. A nice tasting decoy to keep greedy glasses from draining the stuff you want to keep for yourself.
Henry McKenna Bourbon Review
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Age: 4 years (at least)
Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley
Price: $13* (1 liter)
Starts off with some caramel that mixes with a citrus that reminds me of 7UP before moving into some spice, vanilla, corn and wood. It’s fairly basic and quite light.
Caramel again kicks things off, but this time it’s accompanied by some corn, vanilla and spice. Some light notes of wood and dark fruit drift through but like the nose it’s a fairly light and basic flavor overall.
Medium in length and composed of corn, vanilla, caramel and wood.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not much there to balance, but nothing sticks out and it comes together nicely. Like the flavor and aroma it feels light and plays out smooth on the texture with almost no burn at all.
It’s not a bad bourbon in any way, just light and basic. No driving complexity moving it along, but at $13 / liter there doesn’t have to be. It’s a simple, straightforward, basic bourbon and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since they’re charging an appropriate price for it. A nice “value whiskey” for cocktails, experimentations or when I just want a simple bourbon to sip on while cleaning the apartment.
*Disclosure: This bottle of Henry McKenna Bourbon was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.