Every Heaven Hill Whiskey, Ranked

There aren't many more impressive whiskey distilleries in the United States than Heaven Hill. A producer of many different brands, it offers nearly everything you can get in the whiskey world. From rye and wheated whiskey to barrel-proof and single-barrel expressions, this list has it all. This diverse selection is why we wanted to rank the best of what this distillery produces. Here we have focused on the whiskeys currently in its core line-up and haven't included any one-offs or bottles that are no longer available.

As a whiskey aficionado, I've had the pleasure of sampling most of these bottles. Along with adding bits of history and interesting facts, I've created a list that is mostly ranked on taste but is also influenced by value for money and availability. As a student of the whiskey world, I like to think I know what separates a good from a great whiskey. This list will take you through this iconic distillery and hopefully give you a few great ideas on what whiskey should be the next addition to your drink's cabinet.

21. Mellow Corn

There is very little wrong with Mellow Corn bourbon, which is a testament to the quality of the Heaven Hill distillery. However, as a budget offering, it is the weakest expression here. Distilled from a mash bill of at least 80% corn, it is understandably sweet with little spice or warmth. 

With a proof of 100, Mellow Corn does have a little power, but this is a whiskey geared toward more budget-conscious consumers. With that in mind, it's not a whiskey from which you should expect much depth. It's perfectly fine for those looking for a cheap bottle but doesn't offer much more than that.

20. Evan Williams Bourbon

I wanted to place this higher on the list as I have a soft spot for any bourbon that gives you great value for money. Evan Williams does just that as one of the best budget and low-proof bourbons around. However, with taste being the biggest ranking factor here, it had to settle near the bottom of the list.

Here, you'll get a classic bourbon experience with traditional flavors of caramel and oak, with a hint of spice. It has a bit more to it than the Mellow Corn but is simpler than any other whiskey that comes after it on this list. It's a good bourbon that almost every whiskey-lover has drunk at some point.

19. Rittenhouse Rye

Here we have the first entry for rye whiskey on the list. This expression has the bold flavor profile you'd expect from a rye whiskey, with cinnamon and nutmeg being the most dominant spice notes. With a name derived from Philadelphia's iconic Rittenhouse Square, it's a whiskey that impresses.

It has a little more depth than the Pikesville (which we'll see later), with more subtle notes of chocolate and citrus fruits. It can be easily sipped neat but also makes a great addition to cocktails. It doesn't have the complexity as others that come after it, but this is a great value rye whiskey.

18. Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch

The Evan Williams brand specializes in affordable whiskey, and this is another great example. It's one of the cheapest small-batch bourbons you can get and gives you a flavorful drinking experience. Being a small batch expression, bottles can vary, and the proof has been slightly increased in recent years. The corn's influence on the palate makes it very sweet and is accompanied by more subtle notes of toasted wood and honey. It's a good whiskey for the price but doesn't have the quality of Heaven Hill's other small-batch bottles. Still, it's a versatile drink for those who want to expand their bourbon experience.

17. Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey

Here we move on to wheat whiskey. Each different grain will influence the whiskey, with wheat often imparting a creamier mouthfeel and usually an influence of honey. That is certainly the case with Bernheim Original, as you get quite a mellow spirit with the sweetness of honey and toffee.

Those tasting notes are complemented by a range of berries and a subtle warmth that comes from its 90-proof. It's a good whiskey, but its ranking suffers from its more niche appeal, limited availability, and higher price tag. However, for those looking to sample great wheated whiskey, this 7-year-old Bernheim would be a great choice.

16. Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond

No distillery loves marketing its whiskeys as "bottled-in-bond" quite like Heaven Hill. It refers to a law passed in 1897 to protect consumers against buying low-quality counterfeit whiskey. This version of Evan Williams pays homage to that pursuit of quality and craftsmanship. After admiring its rich amber color and caramel-heavy aroma, you'll enjoy its impressive taste.

A notable oak influence is absent, but the most unique notes are brown sugar and black pepper. At 100 proof, it walks the line between having good depth and being overpowering deftly. There are Heaven Hill whiskeys with more character, but this is still an enjoyable pour.

15. Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Larceny is another strong brand from Heaven Hill, with its Kentucky straight bourbon being another small-batch expression. Using wheat in the mash bill instead of rye, this is an inviting spirit for those who avoid spicier whiskeys. It has a soft character and a relatively low proof of 92, making it very easy to drink.

On the palate, the sweetness immediately hits you with its buttery mouthfeel. There is a little cinnamon warmth, but it sits delicately in the background, making this one of the best affordable bourbons. For seasoned bourbon drinkers, you may wish to have a little more character from your whiskey, which stops it from ranking higher.

14. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

Perhaps the most famous small batch bourbon in this list, it's a testament to the quality of what's to come that it sits comfortably outside the top ten. Named after bourbon icon Reverend Elijah Craig, it pays homage to the modern methods of craftsmanship he pioneered. You'll immediately notice the whiskey's complex nose packed with unique notes of fruits and herbs.

The palate offers a delightful balance of both sweet and savory flavors. Butterscotch is the most dominant taste and is supported by earthy flavors of smoky char and nutmeg. An affordable and versatile drink, this is the everyday bourbon of choice for many enthusiasts. Some may prefer whiskeys that are more robust or have a higher age statement, but the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon is a timeless classic.

13. Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage

Single-barrel whiskey is bottled from just one barrel as opposed to whiskey that has been mixed with barrels of a similar age, which is usually the case. There are many great examples of these unique expressions, and the Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage is one of them. Each bottle can be different from the next, with each yearly release also unique.

While there are variances, these bottles usually have a few common tasting notes. That includes a notable cinnamon influence. Along with this, you'll get some honeyed sweetness and orchard fruits. The limited production can make some years difficult to get hold of and expensive. These bottles won't amaze you, but when found at retail price, they are a good example of what single-barrel whiskeys can offer.

12. Elijah Craig Rye Whiskey

We've looked at one rye whiskey already, and this one comes from perhaps Heaven Hill's strongest brand, and of the most popular out there. It delivers a range of baking spices you'd expect from a rye spirit but balances that out with a pleasant smoothness. It allows it to be easily sipped neat for those that enjoy these whiskeys but also works as a powerful base for cocktails.

On the palate, you get a lovely wave of honey, complemented by its earthy notes, including a hint of oak. Those who love rye whiskey usually crave power and depth from their spirit, which is where this expression loses some marks, as it lacks the complexity of some others in this list.

11. Bernheim Barrel Proof

As you'll see later, I love barrel-proof whiskeys and there are many great examples of these expressions, but this version doesn't quite hit the heights of others in this list. What I would say about this expression is that it's unique, as there aren't many good barrel-proof wheated whiskeys out there. That's perhaps due to the clash of styles. Wheated whiskeys are usually loved for their smoothness, whereas barrel-proof spirits are often loved for their power and depth.

With a proof usually over 120, this is best cut with water and when you do, it unveils a buttery mouthfeel that delivers the classical bourbon tasting notes pleasantly. The absence of rye makes it much mellower than other barrel-proof whiskeys but that may not necessarily be a good thing, depending on your preference.

10. Heaven Hill Heritage Collection

This is one of a few entries in this list that doesn't focus on one specific bottle. The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection is a yearly release of extra-aged premium whiskey that celebrates the best of what the distillery has to offer. The 2024 release is an 18-year-old bourbon with a proof of 120.

The vanilla and caramel notes sit beautifully on the palate and are supported by a flowery nose and a powerful spicy finish. These are usually excellent whiskeys but here we're not just focusing solely on taste here. With a higher price point and low availability, bottles can be hard to come by for most bourbon fans, affecting its ranking.

9. Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel

The third entry on this list from Elijah Craig is its Toasted Barrel, a welcome twist on the classic small batch expression. Here, the whiskey gets its flavor from being finished in custom-toasted barrels, making it an appealing option for those who like a notable oak influence from their spirits.

On the palate, you get a delightful interplay of sweet caramel and toasted oak. Supporting those flavors are some dark fruits and a subtle smokiness. Despite this range of flavors, it remains smooth and easy to drink. Availability can sometimes be an issue, but you may get lucky if you head to your nearest Costco.

8. Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond

The second and last entry sold under the Heaven Hill name is another bottled-in-bond expression. What first strikes you about this bottle is the beautifully deep golden color. Once opened, you'll enjoy an inviting sweet aroma. The look and smell entice you to the palate and it doesn't disappoint. At 100 proof, it has a decent level of power to go along with a robust flavor profile.

The sweetness of the aroma transfers to the palate with strong influences of butterscotch and honey. There is a char there, along with quite a notable rye kick. With an affordable price tag, it's an approachable whiskey that guarantees an enjoyable drinking experience. It doesn't have the elite qualities of others on this list, but this expression is more than worthy of carrying the Heaven Hill name.

7. Larceny Barrel Proof

For those who like their bourbon bold and intense, you can't go wrong with Larceny Barrel Proof. Usually bottled with a proof over 120, this gives you a chance to sample a powerful wheated bourbon. It offers a deep flavor profile hinted at by its deep amber color. The nose has a cinnamon and nutmeg influence, even without the use of rye, before you get a sweet, toasted scent.

A beautifully rich caramel is showcased on the palate but is balanced with the spicy notes we got on the aroma. More subtle notes included charred oak, crackers, and brown sugar. Despite its high proof, it's a smooth whiskey, and adding some water or ice can help open up its flavor profile even further. It's not for the faint-hearted and may be too strong for some drinkers, but it's a great barrel proof whiskey.

6. Parker's Heritage Collection

Here we have another yearly release that offers exceptional quality. The only reason it doesn't rank more highly is that availability is limited, which can lead to sky-high prices. Released to honor the legacy of former master distiller Parker Beam, these whiskeys are carefully selected to ensure maximum quality.

The latest (and 17th) edition is a 10-year rye whiskey. It's understandably spicy but also offers a range of fruits on the palate. Honey gives it an elegant sweetness to complete an impressive expression. Each yearly bottling offers a new tasting experience made to the highest standards. Getting your hands on a bottle can be difficult, but it would be an investment worth making.

5. Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Decanter Series

This bottle of Old Fitzgerald doesn't rank any higher for many of the same reasons as the Parker's above. It's a limited-edition series that offers incredible quality but can be expensive and hard to come by. On taste alone, these Decanter Series bottles could be serious contenders for the top spot.

Each release is different but the latest 8-year-old expression is quite fruity, with influences of peach and pear. In addition, you'll get a wide range of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper. The palate is underlined by elegant caramel for immersive depth. It's one of those whiskeys you wish was more readily available, but perhaps that wouldn't make it quite so special.

4. Henry McKenna Single Barrel

Single-barrel bourbons don't come much better than Henry McKenna. Another bottled-in-bond expression, this has a perfect balance of flavors that give plenty of depth while still being easy to drink. The whiskey itself is named after an Irish immigrant who adapted his family recipe with Kentucky grain.

The palate offers an elegant mouthfeel before you enjoy the rich interplay of flavors. Nutmeg and toasted oak give you the more earthy notes on one side, with various fruits and honey on the other. When added to an elegant smoothness, it equals one of the best whiskeys around. It's excellent value for a 10-year bottle, but while impressive, it doesn't quite have the complexity of our top three.

3. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Looking for the perfect example of how good barrel-proof whiskey can be? If so, this Elijah Craig expression is hard to beat. It's a powerhouse of intensity that may be too much for casual drinkers but will be adored by bourbon enthusiasts. It gives you an unadulterated and undiluted drinking experience straight from the barrel.

You can expect a 120+ proof and an alcohol-heavy nose that offers a range of fruit, chocolate, and toasted oak. You'll enjoy trying to pick out your own flavors on the palate, and you'll most likely get a full range of sweet flavors and spices, underlined by subtle charred oak. It has an unsparingly long and warm finish before it gradually fades. It's a potent whiskey but doesn't quite have the uniqueness or elegance of the top two.

2. Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey

The history of Pikesville whiskey goes back a long way, as it was first made in the 1890s. This modern iteration pays tribute to the history of rye whiskey in America. Made with a high-rye mash bill, it has a robust and spicy flavor profile. The power of its flavor is helped by its relatively high proof of 110.

It has a bold character and is quite dry, with a range of spices on the palate, the most notable of which is clove. The vanilla notes are quite subdued and overall, it's quite an impressive whiskey with immersive depth. The reason it's not placed at number one is more due to the top spot being claimed by the perfect example of bourbon.

1. Elijah Craig 18-year-old Single Barrel

I've talked about how I appreciate affordable bourbon, but sometimes it's worth splashing out on something special. This 18-year-old whiskey is truly exceptional and while not cheap, it's not as expensive as some of the more limited releases in this list. It's the epitome of how bourbon can be sophisticated and refined. A bold whiskey that has won many awards, it offers a complexity unmatched by any of Heaven Hill's other expressions.

Greeted with the deep mahogany color you'd expect from an extra-aged whiskey, you get notes of dark chocolate and toasted oak on the nose. Moving to the palate, you'll first notice a luxurious mouthfeel before enjoying its range of flavors. Along with beautifully showcasing the classic bourbon notes, you'll savor the likes of nuts, honey, and char. Being from a single barrel, each version is slightly different from the next, but for enthusiasts seeking the pinnacle of bourbon quality, it's well worth buying a bottle.


For this list, I didn't want to focus on taste alone as drinkers also appreciate value for money and a whiskey they can actually get their hands on. Taste was still the most important factor, but those special limited releases did lose some ranking points. The aim was to have a list that was a fair reflection of what most people look for in a whiskey.

As a bourbon enthusiast for well over 15 years, I'm passionate about sharing in the love and craftsmanship of this fine spirit and writing articles with accuracy and enthusiasm. I have personal tasting experience with the majority of these expressions. For the ones I don't, I relied on a vast range of both expert and user reviews, along with seeking the opinions of friends. This was to ensure I gave a balanced view and one that never relied on a single source.