Review: Five Brothers Bourbon

The five brothers in question are the Shapira brothers, one of whose son is now the president of Heaven Hill, which is making this under-the-radar bottling. Max Shapira’s father and his brothers started Heaven Hill back in 1935 — the date’s on the label of the bottle — and this new release is produced in honor of that heritage.

What’s the bottle? It’s a mix of five different ages of bourbon — all Heaven Hill’s traditional mashbill of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley, which is used in literally all of its non-wheated bourbons: Specifically, there’s juice in the bottle that is 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 years old. You see: One per brother (though I don’t believe they were all one year apart in age).

So that’s the backstory. As for the bourbon, it’s solid, albeit quite sweet. A soft nose heavy with corn and simple syrup comes across as quite summery, offering a Corn Pops cereal note with a hint of lemon peel behind it. The palate continues the theme. This is not a complex whiskey, its exuberant corny sweetness never far from reach. Here the lemon fades into the background a bit to allow some notes of hemp rope and baking spice into the fold, with some white pepper notes percolating on the (still quite sweet) finish. A soothing caramel character lingers on the back end.

All told, none of this should surprise, though I feel it’s clinging to a lot more sweetness than most Heaven Hill products I encounter. I mentioned the sweetness, right? Just checking.

90 proof. Primarily available at Heaven Hill’s distillery.

B+ / $60 /

Five Brothers Bourbon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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