Bob Dylan’s whiskey shingle, Heaven’s Door, is one of the more interesting celebrity brands on the market. The whiskey is sourced Tennessee bourbon and rye, masterfully blended and finished by Master Blender Ryan Perry. Blending and finishing sourced whiskey is at the heart of the brand and that means they have the whole world of whiskey to play with.
That incredible amount of room to experiment is on display in Heaven Door’s latest limited edition release: Heaven’s Door Redbreast Master Blenders’ Edition. The new blend marries Tennessee and Ireland in a bottle and — as you’ll see — it’s pretty damn exciting.
Though this whole project could have easily been a cash play, Heaven’s Door has continually delivered in the premium whiskey category. So partnering with Redbreast — one of the most revered Irish whiskeys in the world — makes a ton of sense. Many of the whiskey traditions of the Ohio Valley and Appalachia stem from wave after wave of Scotch-Irish migration to the area, so marrying Tennessee whiskey with Irish whiskey is a natural fit.
Ready to see what we thought? Let’s do the thing.
Heaven’s Door Redbreast Master Blender’s Edition
Average Price: $115 ($99 MSRP)
This whiskey is a collaboration between Heaven’s Door Master Blender Ryan Perry and Redbreast’s legendary Master Blender Billy Leighton. The duo worked long and hard to create multiple whiskey expressions, which Bob Dylan taste-tested and granted final approval on.
The juice in the bottle is Heaven Door’s low-rye 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon. They take that whiskey and fill it into Redbreast whiskey casks that had previously aged Irish whiskey for 12 years. After 15 months of final maturation, those barrels are vatted and slightly proofed down with soft Tennessee spring water.
This opens with this medley of marzipan, soft leather, prunes and dates, Gala apples, a hint of cedar, and a whisper of ripe red cherry. I take a sip and just like that, BOOM. The taste stops me in my tracks.
This is f*cking great. There’s this body of nutmeg that leads towards a light vanilla pound cake full of candied and dried fruits with a soft Niederegger marzipan center. That then draws towards subtle pops of orange oils, floral honey, walnuts in buttery brown sugar syrup, and this mild touch of spiced apple tobacco leaf. It’s an incredible dance and a tough balancing act.
The end lasts for just the right amount of time and leaves you with a walnut shell dryness, soft warmth, and slight tobacco chew buzz that all circles back towards a raisin sherry sweetness and a final morsel of that vanilla pound cake.
Bob Dylan famously designs the iron-rod gates for each of the expressions Heaven’s Door drops. For this edition, Dylan designed a new gate and crowned it with the iconic Redbreast bird. It’s a snazzy bottle that’s definitely worthy of a prime position on any bar cart.
This was so good that I poured a second dram and tasted it all over again. This has already sold out of its initial pre-order run on Reservebar. The secondary market is going to be where you find this from now on and it’ll only be getting more expensive. But looking at current prices: this is worth every penny.
100/100 — This is as close to a perfect whiskey as I’ve ever tasted (for my palate, of course). It is, as of now, my favorite dram of the year.