Of all the celebrity-sponsored whiskey brands out there, Heaven’s Door might be one of the more respected. Initial responses to the core lineup may have amounted to a resounding shrug, but the brand has gone on to offer a slew of other releases, including barrel picks and at least one annual limited release. This year the team is introducing the Decade series with a new 10-year Tennessee bourbon. Although the actual source remains a slight mystery, we do know it forgoes any charcoal mellowing and utilizes 22% rye in an otherwise undisclosed mash bill. MSRP sits around $90, and this review is based on a sample acquired from a recent sample exchange.
Nose: Somewhat dry. Old spice cabinet with peanut dust and burnt tobacco leaf. Oak, burnt toffee, and nutmeg. After sipping it becomes more peanut butter and fruit jam. Time rewards more toffee, this time unburnt.
Palate: Moderate mouthfeel and depth. Blackberry jam soon followed by mildly drying oak. Pecan, hazelnut, and cocoa. Hints of anise and clove while brown sugar and toffee help tie the experience together.
Finish: Slightly abrupt. Crunchy peanut butter complemented by a balanced, developing oakiness. Brown butter and vanilla eventually join the fray.
I often find myself on the fence with Heaven’s Door. What I’ve tried has never been worse than good, but I’ve only been impressed by one expression (keep your eyes peeled). Furthermore, their prices always tend to be a nudge higher than I feel comfortable blindly paying, and that doesn’t even factor in their lavish Bootleg releases. Which brings us to the inaugural Decade series release. At roughly $10 per year of aging, it’s at least more appealing on paper than the brand’s 10-Year release from 2019 that sold for $130.
Although I can’t offer a comparison to the previous 10-Year, I can wholeheartedly say this is a solid, nicely balanced offering. It provides a classic, moderately developed bourbon profile with more than adequate sweetness and a supple dose of spices. The flavor profile reminds me a bit of my preferred Booker’s batches, trading a bit of the nutty overload for a welcome dose of fruit. And just like Booker’s, Heaven’s Door Decade Series 10-Year costs about $90-$100, putting it in a similar boat with regards to being “worth it.” A bottle of this would make a nice, less expected gift for bourbon lovers; I just can’t say that I’d be ready pay the asking price for myself.