In the 19-year history of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), only one bourbon had ever claimed the title “Best in Show, Whiskey.” Heaven Hill’s Henry McKenna Single Barrel just made it two.
First reported by Forbes, the $30 bottle took top honors at this year’s tasting. What’s so special about it? A combination of valuable factors that have become hard to find in the bourbon world: affordable pricing, widespread availability, Bottled-in-Bond status, a significant 10-year age statement and obviously high flavor marks (it was also our favorite Bottled-in-Bond bourbon of the year). Heaven Hill Distillery, the maker of the winning bottle, also made the only other bourbon to win SFWSC’s best whiskey — Parker’s Heritage Collection bagged the title in 2009.
For the uninitiated, SFWSC is the largest and most important spirits judging event in the world. More than 40 judges take part in nosing and tasting over 3,000 separate expressions, with “Best in Show” bottles earning a badge that guarantees both quality and a quick sell-through. This bottle, which can be found in most places for $30 to $40, may have just ascended to cult status. Stock up while you can.
• Best Whiskey: How Bourbon Dominated The 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Forbes
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