The heat of this expression doesn’t require taming. Instead, much like Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and Parker’s Heritage Collection 8th Ed. Original Wheat, this is a beast that can be enjoyed neat, and then you’d better cut the proof. Adding differing amounts of water or ice gives a creamier, somewhat sweeter, taste, without sacrificing the finish.
Color: Dark brown; some of the darkest you'd see around.
Nose: The nose is similar to Elijah Craig 12-year Barrel Proof, but it has more oak, and more earthy and leather tones too. It has a nice balance of oak and spice along with caramel and cinnamon apple. There isn’t as much burn on the nose as might be expected from the high proof, and it has noticeably less burn than the slightly lower proofed Elijah Craig
Taste: The high proof is evident immediately, but it’s not distracting. A little air calmed it down too, but it still has a robust blast of complex flavors. It has the oak and leather from the nose, with an overall dry taste, but much more complex. The taste has fewer similarities compared to Elijah Craig 12 Barrel Proof than with the nose, but it’s clearly still related. William Heavenhill is creamier than the Elijah Craig and definitely drier, but despite having slightly higher proof, it’s less hot on the tongue. William Heavenhill also has a unique dry tang of black tea. This is a remarkable Bourbon.
Finish: The finish was really long and definitely longer than Elijah Craig, with the same spice, oak and black tea flavors carrying through from the taste.