1954 Hill and Hill Bourbon is a whiskey with an interesting history. Owned by the venerable National Distillers it sat alongside brands like Old Grand-Dad, Old Crow, Sunny Brook and more until its demise in the late 80s or early 90s. I can’t find an exact timeline when it was finally killed off, but it wasn’t too long after Beam acquired ND in ’87.
However, its demise wasn’t without disgrace. Before it’s eviction from the market Beam did to it what other producers have done to brands they acquired and didn’t quite know what to do with; they turned it into an atrocious blend. Despite the brands demise the Hill & Hill distillery still exists today and makes industrial fuel alcohol. There’s some irony in there I’m sure, but instead of digging into that we’re going to be digging into this 1954 Hill and Hill Bourbon review.
1954 Hill and Hill Bourbon Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Hill & Hill
Mashbill: Corn, Rye, Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 4 Years
Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller
1954 Hill and Hill Bourbon Review
OBE, chocolate, chalk, spice, herbal touch, oak and some caramel syrup, dark fruit and citric acid play out nicely.
Almond Roca, citrus, OBE, oak, vanilla, sage-like herbal, caramel and a touch of dried fruit drift across the tongue.
Medium fade of oily spice, oak, citric acid and nuts.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, medium body and an oddly heavy oily feel.
I like the 70s H&H more than I do this 1954 Hill and Hill, but it’s still quite nice. The 70s has more of a silky dark fruit character to it that pairs well with the oak, vanilla and dark sweets; this feels flatter, less dynamic and has more spice and acid along with the inevitable OBE. Still, it’s good enough to almost be a B+ with everything coming together the way it does.
At first it’s really tight and there’s not much going on across the nose or palate, but give this 1954 Hill and Hill Bourbon some air and it blooms. The oak gets deeper and the dark fruits and sweets open and get richer, but it never really hits the kind of depth I’m looking for in a true “daily drinker”. Still, it’s a great piece of liquid history.
SCORE: 86/100 (B)