Named after the famous Hollywood home, Hilhaven Lodge is a new offering from Diageo and Hollywood director Brett Ratner. The whiskey itself is a blend of bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey. Sounds interesting, right?
Ratner is the latest celebrity endorsing a whiskey, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Based on what I’ve seen and heard online, Ratner is passionate about this whiskey. Hell, he reportedly helped develop the whiskey with Diageo and is really putting his weight behind promoting this release. But why? The answer is rather simple: he loves whiskey. Not in the hard-core super serious whiskey enthusiast kind of way, but rather just a big fan of the stuff. Ratner is also the current owner of Hilhaven Lodge.
How is it?
Decent stuff, actually. The nose is full of rye spice and sweet maple syrup. Some charred fresh corn and vanilla follow. Hilhaven Lodge is bottled at 40% abv, but tastes richer than expected. Just like the nose, the flavors here are a decent contrast of sweet and spicy. There’s an initial syrupy blast on entry. Notes of spice, creamy vanilla and barrel char sit on top. Not much complexity here, though. The finish leaves behind notes of candied orange peel and cinnamon.
I love the idea of blending these three types of American whiskey. The best parts of each come out, making this an enjoyable whiskey, if a little on the sweet side. My only real complaint is this isn’t complex enough to warrant a $50 price tag. 7.5/10
Thanks to Diageo for the sample. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.