DSR – TN – 013: Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Heaven’s Door Spirits
Location: Columbia, Tennessee
Mash Bill: Undisclosed; Blend of two traditional bourbons and one straight rye
Age Statement: No age statement on the bottle; Website indicates at least 6 years.
Proof/ABV: 100 Proof/50% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey presents russet in color as it is held up to natural sunlight and while viewing it from the tasting vessel. This whiskey produces a medium viscous line that develops into a thick lip with a very sticky residual appearance. Legs begin to slowly materialize midway down the sides of the glass.
Purchase Price: $49.99 for a 750 ml bottle
Bottle Label Information:
“Double Barrel Whiskey”
“We wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story – Bob Dylan”
“The complexity of our Double Barrel Whiskey is the result of our own barrel finishing process – taking more than a year to complete. We use heavily charred American white oak bourbon barrels to yield a satisfying whiskey with notes of caramel, oak, citrus, and spice.”
“Bottled by Heaven’s Door Spirits, Columbia, Tennessee”
“Distilled in Tennessee”
Bottle Necker Label
“Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey”
“2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition DOUBLE GOLD | 2019 London Spirits Competition Whisky of the Year | 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge American Whiskey – 93 Points Excellent Highly Recommended”
“Heaven’s Door is an award-winning collection of handcrafted American Whiskeys co-created with Bob Dylan. The perfect blend of art and craft, each bottle of Heaven’s Door showcases Dylan’s distinctive welded iron gates that he created in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks.”
“Heaven’s Door will continually evolve its portfolio of super-premium spirits, featuring uncommon blends, special barrel finishes, and rare stocks.”
“Ryan Perry, Master Blender at Heaven’s Door, continues to collaborate with renowned craft whiskey makers in creating new expressions for our collection.”
Heaven’s Door Spirits and Spirits Investment Partners (SIP)
Heaven’s Door Spirits is a collaboration between arguably one of America’s greatest singer-songwriters, Bob Dylan, and Spirits Investment Partners (SIP), Marc Bushala and Ryan Perry. Bob Dylan has amassed sales of over 125 million records from 39 studio albums over his 60-year career. In 2020, with the release of his album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to reach the billboard Top 40 with a new album in each decade from 1960-2020. Additional accolades include the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, Officer de la Legion d’honneur in 2013, Sweden’s Polar Music Award in 2000, and a Doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
SIP was founded in 2015 by Marc Bushala, former CEO and Co-Founder of Angel’s Envy Bourbon, and Ryan Perry, who is known for being one of the most celebrated Master Blenders in all of whiskey. Ryan is credited with creating over 25 spirits, leading the North American Whiskey Strategy Group at Diageo, and overseeing all of the new and used cask programs for Diageo’s bourbon, whiskey, rum, scotch, and tequila product lines. Together, the duo has built SIP into an industry leader in product innovation, branding, marketing, distribution, sales, compliance and much much more.
Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey
Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey is a blend of three different whiskies – two traditional bourbon mash bills from Tennessee and one straight rye whiskey. After the distillation process, these whiskies are mellowed using maple charcoal in what is known as the Lincoln County process. These three recipes are aged individually in either charred new oak barrels or used bourbon barrels for 6 years. At the end of 6 years, the whiskies are blended together and aged an additional year in new heavy char white American oak barrels.
Tasting Date/Vessel: April 10, 2022 – Neat in a Glencairn glass; Then with a few drops of distilled water.
Christian: In the bottle, Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey erupts with a striking burst of dark brown sugar, fresh tobacco, and just a tinge of baking spices. I rather enjoy the pleasant opening with its punch of flavor. During our first tasting of this whiskey, I noticed a slight fruit forward aroma that wafted from my Glencairn glass. Admittedly, that is not as present on my second tasting of this whiskey. Instead, I notice a bountiful tang of raw rye grain. Accompanying the rye is a generous amount of honey, vanilla, and oak. The nose is rounded out by a robust baking spice, similar to that of cloves. The addition of distilled water to this spirit allows some of the sweeter notes to really shine over the rye spiciness I previously experienced. Brown sugar and homemade butterscotch icing really ramp up now.
Mike: From the bottle, this whiskey emits charming aromas of brown sugar and tobacco, later transitioning to clove spice. Initially, as I nose this whiskey from the glass, it presents fruity with a very sweet wine-must quality. A second pass reveals notes of honeysuckle, drenched in the summer sun, then easing into processed pears that have been dusted with cinnamon.
Christian: The mouthfeel on this Double Barrel blended whiskey is velvety with a decent coating left on the top of my tongue and roof of my mouth. The flavors on the tongue are semi-sweet and buttery. Vanilla custard sprinkled in cinnamon jump off of my palate first. A second pass allows a nice bold spiciness to well up. A slight pepperiness is accompanied by a touch of coriander – hints of floral and citrus combined. The coriander’s natural citrus note brings to mind a touch of lemon zest in this pour – it is subtle but crisp and refreshing. The addition of water really does not take away from the flavorful nature of this whiskey. Plenty of spice remains while sweeter flavors like crème brulée begin to stand out more. It seems to me that the citrus notes even intensify a tad.
Mike: My first sip of Heaven’s Door Double Barrel is light and crisp upfront. A semi-dry mouthfeel is detected mid-palate, reminiscent of a Brut champagne. A second sip offers excessively sweetened apple pie filling with the tiniest suggestion of cinnamon and apples. Soft hints of grapefruit and mulling spices appear late.
Christian: Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey offers a nice medium to medium-long finish that carries on well after the whiskey has been consumed. Copious amounts of rye spice hit quickly and bring on a nice warmth from the depths of the chest and throat. It is not abrasive by any standards however, it remains pronounced in the chest for a decent spell. Sweet vanilla custard, brown sugar, and cinnamon sprinkled pears in light syrup are all present in the back-end of this whiskey. A slight bitterness develops later with the oak barrel really becoming pronounced. This slowly transitions to a more fruity flavor of red delicious apples the longer I allow the flavors to build and develop long after the whiskey has disappeared. Water allows the bold baking spices and rye grain influence to remain, while taking some of the bite out of the finish. A little bit of the heat recedes along with some of the sweetness. Cinnamon and clove remain the dominant component, with a dash of oak barrel remaining.
Mike: There’s a medium to long finish on this double barrel whiskey from Heaven’s Door. There is an agreeable bite of rye spice on the back of the throat followed by a more than soothing cinder that prolongs down into the mid-chest area. There is an oakiness that lingers on the palate with a subtle hint of stone fruit.
Christian: I find Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey to be an enjoyable pour with a nice robust flavor profile that can stand up to drinking it neat, with an ice cube, or even in a cocktail. Personally, I do think this whiskey has the chance to be a little polarizing. This 100 proof bottling is a bit spicy and carries a pronounced warmth in the finish that could be seen as hot or overpowering. Additionally, this double barrel offering is not as oak forward as some of its peers. That could be a welcoming characteristic to some drinkers while a slight disappointment to others – depending solely on what you are looking for when approaching this whiskey. All in all, I really enjoyed this pour on its own, coming to the table with no preconceived notions or expectations – and could see it holding a spot on my bar in the future.
Rating: 3.00 Rickhouses
Mike: This is a unique whiskey offered by Heaven’s Door. Sharp yet delicate flavors present in the nose and mouth along with a respectable finish of heat. This is bottled skillfully at 100 proof, and is exceptional as a neat pour, but will hold up nicely with a splash of water or with a rock of ice. I like this as a summer sipper and as an everyday drinker for its overall subtle and approachable profile.
Rating: 3.25 Rickhouses