GSN Review: Heaven’s Door American Whiskeys

Spirits Investment Partnership (“SIP”), in partnership with Bob Dylan, recently announced the debut of Heaven’s Door, a collection of super-premium craft American Whiskeys. Bob Dylan’s first and only brand partnership, Heaven’s Door will be an ever-evolving portfolio of handcrafted whiskeys in collaboration with different master distillers and blenders from across the country.

The genesis of Heaven’s Door came when spirits entrepreneur Marc Bushala, CEO of SIP, read that Bob Dylan had registered a trademark application for “Bootleg Whiskey” in 2015. Bushala embarked on a mission to connect with the artist and explore ideas. Through a mutual friend, a meeting between the two was arranged. Together, they developed the idea of creating a whiskey collection that would be the perfect blend of art and craft, incorporating Bob Dylan’s artwork in the packaging.

“Rather than make a single whiskey or work with one master distiller, we thought it would be far more interesting to work with various master distillers and blenders to make whiskeys that would each have their own unique signature,” Bushala explains, “By working with different whiskey artisans for each new expression, the portfolio would be more diverse and eclectic.”

“We both wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story, “said Dylan.  “I’ve been traveling for decades, and I’ve been able to try some of the best spirits that the world of whiskey has to offer. This is great whiskey. I am happy to be partnering with Marc and our entire team as we bring Heaven’s Door to the public.”

After years and countless iterations of blending and finishing, Heaven’s Door arrived at its first three expressions. The trilogy includes a Straight Tennessee Bourbon, a Double Barrel Whiskey, and a Straight Rye Whiskey finished in “Cigar” Barrels from Vosges, France.

Heaven’s Door bottles feature Bob Dylan’s distinctive iron gates that he created in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks, from objects found on farms and scrap yards across America. Complementing the mainstay portfolio, next year Heaven’s Door will introduce The Bootleg Series, showcasing Bob Dylan’s paintings on proprietary bottles. The Bootleg Series will offer rare whiskey stocks and special blends, available in extremely limited quantities.

In 2019, Heaven’s Door will open its distillery and brand experience center in a 140-year-old church in Nashville where Dylan recorded four albums and made a lasting impact on the Music City.

The inaugural Heaven’s Door expressions are:

TENNESSEE STRAIGHT BOURBON – Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon utilizes 30% “small grains” to complement the character imparted from spending almost seven years in new American Oak barrels.

STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY – Breaking with convention, Heaven’s Door finishes its Straight Rye Whiskey in toasted oak cigar barrels, harvested and air-dried in the low-lying mountain region of Vosges, France.

DOUBLE BARREL WHISKEY FROM TENNESSEE – Comprised of a distinctive blend of three different whiskeys, the Heaven’s Door Double Barrel finishing process utilizes hand toasted, new American Oak barrels for a secondary aging worthy of another year’s wait.

Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon (90 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Compact package of intensely pungent oak laden mash bill. Welcoming and friendly, like a favorite uncle.
Taste: Nicely sweet, with a hint of cinnamon. A very smooth entry that leads into a spice cake flavor. The oak never overwhelms the distillate, rather it enhances what was already there.
Finish: Medium long, with the curious cinnamon “red-hot” candy-like flavor.
Overall: Very easy to drink and with enough of a difference in character, as to make this a welcome addition to your back bar.
GSN Rating: A-

Heaven’s Door Straight Rye Whiskey (92 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Loads of fresh cracked rye spice out of the gate, followed by a softer, sweet nose.
Taste: Again, a refreshing sweetness which rounds out any possible rough edges from a typically robust straight rye. Ryes tend to have an overabundance of high notes, but this one is tempered.
Finish: Medium long, and with a bit of the spice hanging on to remind you that you’ve just had rye.
Overall: I really like this one, and would love to try a 100 proof version just to see what else comes out.
GSN Rating: A+

Heaven’s Door Double Barrel (100 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Oak, oak, oak. A powerhouse in the glass. You can tell this one is pushing the boundaries.
Taste: Sprightly oak stave colors the whiskey with a maple butter and brown butter flavor. A warm and soft whiskey that proves that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  It all just works incredibly well together.
Finish: Medium long, with the barrel character finishing things off at a slow pace.
Overall: Very well done, and despite the second resting period, nothing is out-of-place. A special whiskey that barely needs any water or ice.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Heaven’s Door