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This is one of my favorite bourbons and I have added this annual release to my cabinet since 1996 (the year of the Heaven Hill fire in Bardstown). The 2004 vintage was distilled in the Heaven Hill Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. There has been some opinions that the spirit made at the new distillery is somewhat inferior to that made at the old Bardstown facility, that the old stills imparted more copper in the distillation process. That's an argument fit for more refined palates that mine.
All I know is that I make it a habit to go and buy the new release. I've already bought the 2005 but have not yet opened it.
Barreled on 4-2-04 Barrel no. 176 Bottled on 11-27-13
Color: Nice dark amber
Nose: Not as assertive as the last few single barrel vintages but displays caramel, nectarines, orange zest, overly ripe bananas and vanilla. Some cigar box spiciness arrive late.
Palate: Surprisingly light body with maple syrup, caramel and light corn oil. Minimum spice arrival mid-palate followed by drying oak and vanilla.
Finish: Fairly short with oak tannins and some spice buzz.