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Cigar Spirits: Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bottled in Bond 10 Year Bourbon

6 Aug 2015


Despite whatever bourbon shortage there may or may not be, there are plenty of good bourbons available these days. Not only that, but there are plenty of excellent bourbons available for $30 or less. (In fact, there are quite a few very good bourbons on the shelf for under $20.)

That approachable price for good quality is what differentiates bourbon from Scotch whisky. To that list of good, affordable bourbon you can add Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond Single Barrel 10 Year Bourbon.

Even before tasting it, this bourbon (made by Heaven Hill, which also makes Evan Williams and Elijah Craig) checks off three of the characteristics many bourbon fans find desirable: single barrel, well-aged (10 Years), and a decent proof (100-proof). In fact, it is the only 10 year Bottled in Bond bourbon on the market.

The Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel has gone through multiple iterations over the years, and the latest version (pictured) puts all the key features up front.  The bourbon is a light copper color. The nose is straight forward although inviting with vanilla, wood, and butterscotch.

On the palate, McKenna 10 is surprisingly soft for its 100-proof. Most prominent is butterscotch, wood, and apple brandy, although clove, cinnamon, and rye spice are also apparent. The finish is smooth and sweet with vanilla and fruit.

Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel is a versatile bourbon for pairing with a cigar, but I think an ideal cigar pairing is mild or medium-bodied. A couple examples would be Illusione Epernay, Davidoff Grand Cru, Paul Garmirian Gourmet, or the Tatuaje Black.

Ultimately, Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel doesn’t quite break into my best bourbons under $30 list, but it is clearly a tasty, widely available bourbon that costs only $25-30. I don’t think any regular bourbon drinker would be disappointed with picking up a bottle.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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