Black Maple Hill 21 Years Review

Black Maple Hill 21 Years Review

Black Maple Hill 21 Years is from that era of whiskey when things like this could be found on the shelf for $100 sitting right next to Pappy 15 for $60 and Weller Centennial for $35. A product of the bygone era of bourbon glut that we’ve burned through and whose bottles are now trading on the secondary market for hundreds to thousands of dollars as a new generation of whiskey drinkers clamors to taste own these now legendary bottles.

The reputation of “old” bottles like the Black Maple Hill 21 Years are often well deserved, but in my humble opinion rarely warrant the prices they can fetch and the hoops that some folks go through to get one. Sometimes I wonder if the secondary whisk(e)y market isn’t the 9th wonder of the world because it’s incredibly impressive while simultaneously making scant sense. It’ll be an interesting phenomena till the end.

Black Maple Hill 21 Years Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Rumored to be Heaven Hill
Bottler: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, LTD.
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 21 years
ABV: 47.5%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Cask: 5

Price: N/A – Auctions or specialty stores

Black Maple Hill 21 Years Review

EYE
Dark caramel

NOSE
Big notes of oak, dark fruit, roasted oily nuts, caramel and spice with a bit of citrus and a dusting of vanilla. Big and powerful yet elegant.

PALATE
A heavy dense world of rich oak, dark sweets, roasted oily nuts, dark fruit, spice and a toasted grain. Some light notes of vanilla, brûlée, and citrus peels float through like a spring breeze.

FINISH
Long and darkly sweet with notes of toasted grains, dark fruit, citrus, mint and a touch herbal.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance, round full body and a slick oily texture that carries serious weight.

OVERALL
Black Maple Hill 21 Years has an aroma that’s powerful yet graceful like a gorilla ballerina; a palate that’s a tornado of dark rich fruits, woods and sweets dancing with a summer breeze of lighter brighter notes and a finish that’s like the tail end of a good conversation. It’s aromatic and tasty package wrapped in a heavy oily body that comes across smooth and full.

This Black Maple Hill 21 Years enthralled me and I loved every second of it and I would have greedily killed the bottle, but of course I was at an event and the whiskey was there to be shared so others did the killing for me. I was just an accessory to the crime and instead happily nursed a healthy pour through the evening. A tasty whiskey from an era of bourbon excess.

SCORE: 90-92/100 (A-, not consumed at home)

Black Maple Hill 21 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 92
  • Palate - 92
  • Finish - 92
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 92

Summary

Black Maple Hill 21 Years is a tasty example of what used to be sitting on shelves but now hides in bunkers.

Black Maple Hill 21 Years Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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6 Responses to Black Maple Hill 21 Years Review

  1. The bourbon secondary market is out of control. Forget Pappy . . . look at something like Elmer Lee. A good, but let’s be honest, not fantastic, bourbon. It quite literally used to be my every day bourbon and now you can hardly find it in stores anymore. Insanity.

  2. I actually bought a bottle of “black ink” Black Maple Hill bourbon 5 years ago. The regular bottles of Black Maple Hill were printed in red. The bottle I bought was 16 year aged bourbon. I uncorked it on the eve of my daughter’s wedding and took it around to special guests in our hotel. I have never had a finer bourbon. I have never seen another bottle again. It was a memorable experience. The die hard scotch drinkers even came back for more.

    • That’s awesome, thanks for sharing. Man, those were the days right? When you could actually find these gems sitting on the shelf. Glad you go to try one. Cheers!

  3. I have a 12 and a 21 (cask 2) collecting dust for almost 15 years. Maybe I’ll keep them dusty and see what happens in the next ten years. My luck they will go down in price!

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