In 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery opened in Bardstown, Ky. It was founded by the five Shapira brothers. They had no experience in the distilling industry and no established brands. They were, however, excellent businessmen with a plan. They would distill whiskey and sell barrels to liquor stores and distributors who wanted whiskey to support private labels. They, of course, would sell their own labels of whiskey and Bourbon Falls would be their first label.
This label was discontinued in the 1960s as their brands Evan Williams, Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill made up the majority of their sales and the Bourbon Falls label had become too small to support. I recently purchased a half pint bottle of Bourbon Falls from the 1960s. Matt and I sat down and tasted this Bourbon and here are the notes from our tasting. After finishing this tasting, I donated the bottle to Heaven Hill for their collection.
Bourbon Falls Bourbon ca. 1965
Age: Six Years Old
- Mike: Vanilla and maple syrup, ripe pears, ginger and oak.
- Matt: Maple syrup, cocoa and pears.
- Mike: Vanilla and maple syrup sweetness with some cherry and dates fruitiness and ginger spice and sweet oak – not tannic at all. Tasted with a dried cranberry and it becomes very fruity – almost brandy-like with cherries, dates and ripe pears and a little baking spice and sweet oak wood. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla comes forward with a French vanilla sweetness and some cardamom spice. The fruit fades into the background.
- Matt: Creamy vanilla cherries and pumpkin pie spices with a hint of oak wood. The dried cranberry made it fruity with cherries and ripe pears with a little baking spices. The pecan made it taste of sweet vanilla and baking spices.
- Mike: Medium long with a little baking spice and sweet oak wood. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter with only a hint of oak and spice, but some lingering fruit notes. The pecan made the finish longer with tobacco, oak and baking spices.
- Matt: A short finish with oak and baking spices. The dried cranberry left only a hint of oak with baking spices and a lingering cherry note. The pecan made the finish longer with leather and oak.
I would pair this Bourbon with a cigar that goes well with a fruity Bourbon. I would use a Nat Sherman Schrader cigar, a cigar designed to pair with wine. The smoke compliments the fruitiness of Bourbon well.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller