Mellow Corn is a Bottled In Bond corn whiskey put out by the folks at Heaven Hill and is one of the best corn whiskeys I’ve ever had. The only ones I like a little bit more than it are the Balcones True Blue and Baby Blue corn whiskeys but this definitely gives them a run for their money (literally and figuratively). So what makes this a corn whiskey and not a bourbon? I’ll give you a hint. It’s all about the barrels.
The mashbill of a corn whiskey has to be made from at least 80% corn, but plenty of bourbons, and George Dickel, meet that requirement. Heck a bourbon can be made from 100% corn if the distiller wanted to so mashbill isn’t the main differentiator. Like i said above, it’s the barrel.
Bourbon must be aged in new charred American oak barrels which is where it gets that nice dark caramel color from. Corn whisky on the other hand doesn’t need to be aged at all, but if it is it can be, and typically is, done in used barrels which adds less color and flavor to the whiskey. This usage of used cooperage is why the Mellow Corn has a golden yellow color to it instead of a darker caramel color even after sitting in the barrels for at least 4 years (BiB requirement)
Mellow Corn Review
Age: 4 years (BiB)
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Mashbill: 90% corn 10% rye & barley
It’s a bit muted and light, but what’s there is nice. Dominated by notes of vanilla and corn there are some lighter, ethereal notes of spice, citrus, honey and a fruitiness that reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum.
Same as the nose, it’s muted and light, but what does come across is pleasant. Vanilla taffy, Juicy Fruit gum and corn lead the way with airy notes of toffee, spice and citrus coming in behind.
Vanilla, Juicy Fruit gum, marshmallows and corn run it’s course on a medium finish.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
There’s not a whole lot to try and balance but within the simple, nearly one dimensional, aspects there is a nice balance. The light thin body doesn’t really affect it one way or the other, but it works well with the silken texture that has almost zero burn which is odd for a 100 proof whiskey.
Mellow Corn may lack depth and complexity, which is the only reason it scored below 80, but what it does have is a solid rustic flavor and aroma that is quite nice in it’s own unique way. It’s the only sub 80s whiskey that I don’t mind drinking neat and that’s because there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it’s just lacking in complexity. All in all not a bad whiskey and it’s something I’ll definitely be keeping around the house as a nice change of pace from time to time and to experiment with cocktails.
*Disclosure: This bottle of Mellow Corn was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.