The nose of the Heaven’s Door Straight bourbon bears a lot of family resemblance to the younger stuff, with an initial punch of sweet butterscotch, vanilla, caramel sauce, and some tropical fruit notes.
A little air time in the glass is a big help here for Heaven’s Door Straight bourbon, coaxing out more of that fruity character. The palate is initially a bit heavy, as time and the barrel seem to have had their way with the underlying spirit; there’s a big rush of barrel char and lumberyard notes that seem immediately out of place with the move lively, fruity nose.
The good news is that those fruity notes remain in the glass, albeit buried a bit by the woodier components, and they manage to squeeze their way to the fore as they reveal notes of torched banana, toasted coconut, and cinnamon. As with the standard Tennessee Bourbon, the combination makes me think of the tropics, tiki even, with a sweet, brown sugar kick on the finish that evokes notes of old rum.