Mellow Corn Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey (Bottled in Bond)
Nose: This has a pretty light nose with not much variety going on. It leans a little on the corn side but doesn’t smell moonshiney. It has a pleasant, though light, sweet scent. Palate: On the first sip, this starts out sweet and then the heat kicks in right in the middle and keeps going into and through the finish. It has a light mouthfeel but it isn’t overly watery. After the first sip, though, the heat didn’t seem as intense. In fact, I was quite surprised how much the heat disappeared after the first sip. Without the level of heat, more of the sweetness shows through. It is an interesting combination of sweet corn (but not moonshiney) and vanilla with a bit of circus peanuts, the peanut-shaped, orange marshmallow candy we ate as kids (and, truth be told, it is still a guilty pleasure…..I don’t indulge often, but once in a while I’ll get a small bag of them). The finish is right in the middle range and leaves you with a bit of an aftertaste that is just very slightly on the musty side and it also reminded me a bit of creamed corn. In the last few sips, I got just a very little hint of rye spiciness, but it was almost un-noticable. Comments: I think this is one of the hidden gems of the bottom shelf. It is 100 proof, bottled in bond and comes out of Heaven Hill in Bardstown, KY. Now, it isn’t a bourbon, but it is still a very acceptable and tasty sipping whiskey, especially for the money. Luckily for me, this bottle was a very generous gift. Had I not gotten it as a gift, I might never have tried it. Although it sits on the bottom shelf because of its $15 price point, I think if you tasted it blind, you’d rate it much higher. I think its uniqueness makes it a great choice to have available when you’re in the mood for something a little bit different or want something sweet and simple. Because of its uniqueness, I’d normally say this would be a “try before you buy”, but at it’s ridiculously low price, just pick up a bottle. I’ve never tried it in a cocktail, but I can’t imagine it would be all that bad in a cocktail setting. I’d serve this to a whiskey noobie…as long as I told them to ignore the first sip…... So, what distinguishes a corn whiskey from a bourbon? Corn whiskey must contain at least 80% corn and, if aged (which this is), can be aged in new uncharted or used oak barrels. Straight corn whiskey is aged 2 years or more. Mellow Corn is aged in used Heaven Hill barrels and the mashbill is reported to be 90% corn and 10% rye and malted barley (but….other sources say it is 80% corn, 8% rye and 10% malted barley). Because it is bottled in bond, Mellow Corn is at least 4 years old.