Return of the Age Statement
This Beloved, Discontinued Bourbon Is Back, But Heaven Hill Whiskey Loyalists Will Be Pissed
Last year, Heaven Hill Distillery — makers of Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Henry McKenna and more — discontinued its popular 6-year Bottled-in-Bond expression. The whiskey community wasn’t happy about it, and understandably so: the $15 bottle was one of the best value buys in all of bourbon.
For folks still bitter about it, there’s good and bad news: Heaven Hill just announced its replacement, Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond.
The bottle represents another win for age statement purists; earlier this month, Knob Creek brought an age statement back to its Small Batch bottle. Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond is one year older than its predecessor and proudly displays the words “THIS BOURBON IS 7 YEARS OLD” in bold, red letters on the bottom label. According to the distillery, the new expression will see wider distribution as well.
The tradeoff for an upped age statement and more reach seems to be cost. At $40 SRP, Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond will go for more than double its old selling point, and firmly in one of bourbon’s most competitive price ranges, lining up with Knob Creek’s 9-year-old, 120 proof single barrel expression, Buffalo Trace Distillery’s 10-year-old Eagle Rare and even Heaven Hill’s own award-winning Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond single barrel line.
For the uninitiated, Bottled-in-Bond (or just “BiB” in online vernacular) whiskey must be the product of a single distillation season, by a single distiller at a single distillery; it must be 100 proof and aged in a bonded warehouse under federal government supervision all the while; and they must age, at minimum, for four years. The qualifications date back to the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which sought to establish a quality guarantee for consumers.
The new bottle is hitting shelves in California, Texas, New York, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Colorado now, with plans on widening distribution in the future.