Henry McKenna 10yo BiB

Henry McKenna 10yo BiB

Henry McKenna BiB is a classic “almost bottom shelf” bourbon that has a fantastic value proposition, being 100 proof and 10 year age stated yet still sold for around $35. It was the victim of a violent taterstorm earlier this year when awarded “Best Bourbon” at the San Francisco “Everybody Gets a Medal™” World Spirits Competition. An avalanche of pictures assaulted facebook feeds thereafter of shopping carts loaded and basements filled; it was unthinkable that after 3-4 months this whiskey would still be sitting on the shelves. Rumours abounded that the age statement was being phased out. Changes did manifest, and many were not particularly interested to hear that indeed, the screw cap would be replaced with a cork. Six months later, those of us that did not buy four cases of $35 bourbon can look back at these memories with fondness, and take an easy stroll down to the store to find that we can still purchase it off the shelf whenever we want to.

This is a single barrel product, so one should take reviews with a grain of salt. Every barrel is different.

This review was done blind in a set of 21 blind bourbon (and rye) reviews, tasted in sets of 3 (on different days). None of the whiskies were revealed until all 21 were drunk. More information about this setup in the first review of the series.

1. Old Forester 1920
2. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
3. Four Roses Single Barrel OESK (Brookline Liquor Mart pick)
4. Kentucky Owl Rye (batch 1)
5. Weller Antique 107
6. Rowan's Creek
7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #12 (136 proof)
8. Old Forester Statesman
9. Michter's 10yo Bourbon
10. Henry McKenna 10yo BiB
11. Weller 12
12. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
13. Rhetoric 23
14. George T. Stagg 2017
15. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)
16. Maker's 46
17. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
18. Little Book “The Easy” (2017)

Distiller: Heaven Hill
ABV: 50%
Age: 10 years
Setting: Blind, in a trio with Weller 12 and Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7

Nose: Corn mash, grits, some oaty funk, wet grass, damp wood, brazil nuts.
Palate: Full and present, green, cut grass, oat funk again.
Finish: Oat and corn porridge trail off into a vanilla grassy note, long and really enjoyable, if not particularly complex.
Overall: This seems to taste a little young, but in contrast to an earlier bourbon this had none of the confectioners sugar/young corn grits notes that put me off, and had a nice interesting cut grass and funkiness to it that kept me coming back.
Guess: I feel like this is a younger bourbon at a middling proof. If I search for it I find a kind of peanut note, which I don’t think I’d get in WT101, so I’m going for OGD BiB.
Rank: 5
Reveal: To me there are certainly similarities between McKenna 10 and OGD BiB, so I don’t feel too bad about this. The beam funk is not there, my nose was definitely playing tricks on me. But either way, my bottle of McKenna 10 does taste young for a 10 year old. I would maybe have given it a 6 unblind, so this isn’t too far off. Fair.