If you’re Bob Dylan, it’s not enough to write more than 500 songs that set lyrical standards, to have earned praise for your movie roles, to have earned more praise for your paintings, and, almost gluttonously, to collect accolades as an author, topping it off with a Nobel Prize for literature. Nope, it’s just not enough.
So when Dylan registered a trademark application for “Bootleg Whiskey” in 2015, Spirits Investment Partnership, based in Chicago, looked him up. The result is the Heaven’s Door series of whiskeys, which is the only time Dylan has entered into a branding partnership — with the rapturous Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon leading the way.
The 90-proof bourbon, aged for six years in oak barrels, engages the senses, displaying an appealing taffy colour as it waits for your lips in the glass. The light vanilla aroma invites you closer, and upon first sip you’re met with a gentle, flavourful taste that builds on the aroma and adds hints of freshly baked bread with the crisp oak taste of the barrel arriving at the finish. The drink is smooth and refrains from the bite that some corn mashes offer.
While the bourbon is light enough to sip on its own or on rocks, its simple flavours also mix well in cocktails like mint juleps, whiskey sours, or even with a little ginger ale. But at around $100.00 a bottle, you might want to bring it out for special occasions to slowly sip and savour. It’s fun to quaff this bourbon while admiring the bottle and feeling the raised artwork, which features, oh, you guessed it, a replica of gates Dylan welded at his Black Buffalo Ironworks from discarded farm parts. Show off.
Heaven’s Door Bourbon is available at ONE SPOT Liquor on 17th Avenue S.W. and at Spirits West in Bragg Creek.
Mary-Lynn Wardle is a Bragg Creek writer.