Well, hello there. Here goes review #2 in my bourbon education: Bottled In Bond Mellow Corn.
Color: light straw, young corn kernel
Nose: hot, light fruitiness, soft vanilla
Palate: oily mouthfeel, light on the front, really hot, bitter on the way down, no complexity, super light spice that is only noticeable as it claws it’s way over the bitter ending at the back of my tongue.
Finish: long numbing finish, bitterness hangs on until the, well the bitter end. Green wood in my soft palate later
I am disappointed in this offering. At least compared to my previous review of Jacob’s Ghost. I would have thought that the extra time, at least 4 years since there is no age statement on the bottle, would have mellowed this out even more than the Jacob’s Ghost. However, this may be attributeable to either the mash bill, being 81% corn, or the ABV at 50%, or both really. This is a fast sipper to me, I don’t want to spend lots of time rolling it around in my mouth, I don’t mind the brief impression it leaves me when drunk fast. Notably, however, this is a straight corn whiskey being above the 80% mark of corn in the mash bill. The spiel on Heaven Hill’s website mentions that it is a precursor to what we know of bourbon today. With that in mind, I’m glad that I have given it a try as part of my bourbon education.
I am not going to be able to get through this bottle with any type of speed, unless I invite some less discerning friends over. There is always the market for a higher proof liquor, ’cause as Dave Chappelle said, “…it’ll get ya drunk!”
After doing some reading the Bottled In Bond certification turns out to be a pretty great distinction. It signifies that the whiskey you are drinking was distilled and bottled at one location. If the spirit is bottled somewhere other than at the distillery, the label has to state that. In the case of Mellow Corn, underneath the designation of Straight Corn Whiskey it says: “Distilled by Heaven Hill Distilleries, INC. D.S.P.-KY-354 Louisville, Kentucky, Bottled by Medley Company Bardstown, KY D.S.P. KY 31”. This becomes an interesting designation in the current American whiskey scene as many bottlings are actually from sourced spirits. For example the Redemption Rye reviewed on this blog earlier is actually distilled by LDI, a company that produces spirits and then aged and bottled somewhere else. That isn’t to say that it diminishes quality (LDI also produces the spirit for High West, one of my favorites), but it does increase transparency. Whether that is a good thing or not, I leave it to you to decide.