Sunday Evening Review
On this 4th of July, I pull out a bottle that is named after a person that represents what this country was built on. This week I review Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bottled-In-Bond to find out if the bourbon in the bottle is worthy for the man it is named after.
Make sure you put in the comments any bottles that you would like me to review.
NAME – Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bottled-In-Bond
PROOF – 100
AGE – 10 years
COLOR – Weathered Wicker (1.4 Tawny on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)
NOSE – Amber honey, honeysuckle, vanilla crème, malted cereal, musty oak, sweet tobacco and roasted peanut
TASTE – Musty oak along with oak spice is there in spades. Dark caramel, honey roasted peanuts, orange peel, and cinnamon.
FINISH – I would call this a medium finish. The musty oak is throughout the entire journey and the amber honey from the nose appears again. Cinnamon blends in also.
REVIEW – This is a pleasant pour but if you don’t like oak this may not be for you. Now again it is a single barrel so they are all a bit different. To give you a reference is that the Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond has corn sweetness that this doesn’t and Heaven Hill 7 year Bottled-In-Bond is similar but pulls back on the oak forwardness. The nose is interesting and rich and the palate is good it just has a big musty oak note that is there and you must like.
FINAL COMMENTS – Henry McKenna was an Irish immigrant that was born in Ireland in 1819 and arrived in Kentucky in 1839. He worked as a laborer mainly on road crews as many immigrants did at the time. He set out to make a better life for himself and also not labor as hard for his money. Here is an excerpt from the Whiskey University
Several years moved to a small town just north of today’s Bardstown. It was there in Fairfield, Kentucky in 1855 that he opened a flour mill. Henry bought a plot of land at the edge of town, built a grain elevator and mill, and set about grinding wheat into flour for their neighbors. In those days the gristing process yielded a great deal waste. Because he had so much waste and nothing of consequence to do with Henry bought a farm and fed the waste to farm animals like pigs. But he had too much waste from the mill that he had to find find something to do with the rest, so he decided to turn the rest into wheat whiskey. McKenna set up a wooden still in the back of his flour mill and began turning out about a barrel of whiskey a day. At first he used only wheat to make wheat whiskey but eventually turned to the most prevalent and affordable grain in the Commonwealth in corn to make his whiskey. With corn and a charred oak barrel McKenna experimented and learned the art of making true bourbon.
Here is the part of the story that most don’t know. In 1892 Congress introduced a bill asking for a 5-year bonding time for bourbon whiskey. Although it does not pass that year the bill was known as “The McKenna Bill.” Less than a year later McKenna passed away.
McKenna represented a lot of what the USA was built on which is hard work, seizing on an opportunity, innovation and the freedom to make a better life for yourself.
Everyone have a great 4th of July weekend!