G. Clay Whittaker
Bob Dylan has released the second edition of his Heaven’s Door Bootleg Series whiskey this winter—warming up the season with Bootleg Vol. II; it’s tropical, with a rum finish.
Dylan’s whiskey brand released in 2018, debuting three sourced whiskeys including a rye and a bourbon. We were fans of those tasty bottles (even though they were a little typical). Since then, he’s been busy getting weird in the best way possible.
Whereas those initial releases were dedicated crowd-pleasers for the broader whiskey lover, the limited-edition Bootleg Series debuted last year with a quirky pedigree: a low-rye bourbon aged 26 years and finished in Japanese Mizunara oak, one of the rarest oak species in the world (and a delicious finishing ingredient when well-applied).
We were fans of that whiskey, and so we expect big things from the newly announced Bootleg Vol. II.
It should be noted, by the way, that at the moment all Heaven’s Door whiskey is sourced, not distilled in house. While a distillery has been created for the brand, none of this stock (or any for the next half-decade) will come from it.
Volume II doesn’t have the impressive age statement of its predecessor, but it’s equally enticing. The second release will feature 15-year-old bourbon stock finished in Jamaican pot still rum casks.
“Distinctly richer with slightly tropical notes from the fermentation process,” Heaven’s Door explains, “this cask strength 104.6 proof Tennessee whiskey boasts an abundance of maple syrup on the nose, with a finish that brings forward notes of toasted coconut, holiday spice, and toasted oak, where the influence from the sugar cane and rum extraction shines.”
One interesting thing to note is this release discloses that the whiskey in question underwent the Lincoln County process—a charcoal mellowing filtration process common to Tennessee whiskey makers. The process is done after distillation and before barreling, which would mean this whiskey had to come from one of two distilleries that have been operating that long: Dickel or Jack Daniel’s… and Dickel is known for selling sourced stock.
According to the distillery, Bootleg Vol. II is bottled in handmade ceramic bottles that “feature one of Bob Dylan’s classic paintings, Sunset. Monument Valley, housed in beautifully designed and individually numbered collectible leather journals.”
Only 3,000 bottles of this rare whiskey are available, with a steep price tag of $500 a bottle. That’s not uncommon these days for rare stock releases, as much as we hate to admit it…and at 15 years, this is old enough to be some truly one-of-a-kind whiskey.