Black Maple Hill is a bourbon that friends have been recommending for a while now, but I haven’t gotten around to tasting it until now. It’s become a common sight in the growing number of bars in NYC that stock a decent selection of bourbon – so it’s clearly not an under-the-radar newcomer. In fact, it’s apparently produced by Heaven Hill so there’s significant heft behind this brand. Looking forward to seeing what it’s got.
- 95 proof
- Made by Heaven Hill, bottled by Black Maple Hill
Black Maple Hill’s bottle is understated compared to some other bourbons you’ll find in this range. The label uses just one color and that color very closely matches the color of the whiskey inside, creating a soft melding of all the bottle’s elements. The proof is listed in faux handwriting, but the etching on the main front label avoids this type of approach, rather the simple horse/forest scene pushes the eye up toward the brand name at the top.
To the nose, Black Maple Hill comes across first as dominated with charred oak but it seems like there’s something young about it in the background with corn and alcohol sneaking through. On the tongue, however, the first impression is a peppery burst, which gives way to a full-mouth sensation of dry summer grass. This builds up to a nice grainy sensation then dies down into a medium-warm, medium-long finish.
I like this, but it’s not my favorite. I’d like to see a better texture to this bourbon, which otherwise feels quite light. That said, I quite like the ‘dry summer grass’ notes to it and this might (just maybe) be something I’d have with a cube of ice – but I reserve the right to take that back.