Booze Review

Whisky Review – The Hillhaven Lodge

The Hilhaven Lodge

The whiskey in the above photo comes to us from Diageo. Here’s what they have to say about it:

The Hilhaven Lodge™ is a new-to-world whiskey developed in collaboration with Hollywood director, and current owner of Hilhaven Lodge, Brett Ratner. The Hilhaven Lodge features a distinctive blend of three different styles of whiskey spanning across three decades – Bourbon from the 2000’s, Tennessee Whiskey from the 1990’s and Rye Whiskey from the 1980’s. Combined, these whiskeys offer an unbelievably smooth tasting experience.

Brett Ratner? Yes. You read it correctly: Brett Ratner.

Director of Rush Hour

Executive Producer of The Revenant

Ladies’ man extraordinaire…

Where does he find the time to do all that AND help create a whiskey named after his historic Hollywood home? I can barely muster up enough energy to get out of bed in the morning. OK. OK. Enough about Brett Ratner and his fabulous life. Let’s move on to our review..

On a not too warm Wednesday night in June, Limpd and I sat out on the Barthenon and tried The Hilhaven Lodge. Here’s what we thought about it:

Appearance and ABV

While the pale amber color was pleasant to look at, the 40% ABV was a bit of a disappointment because of our love of high octane libations.

The Nose

We both thought that the nose on this whiskey was quite light. “Watered down” is what we said while smelling it. Limpd picked up a light scent of alcohol along with some menthol and vanilla. For some reason, I picked up some mineral like notes. I’m guessing that had more to do with the OFF! Mosquito Lamps that were on the table and not some weird scent coming from the whiskey. Once I worked past that, I picked up some light brown sugar, cinnamon, and clove.

The Taste

While we weren’t all that impressed with the low ABV and the nose, we are happy to report that this stuff actually tastes pretty good. The mouthfeel is a touch watery which further reinforces our opinion that this is definitely lighter than what we usually drink. The flavors are lightly sweet at the start with a good bit of light brown sugar coming through. At mid-palate some subtle cinnamon spice shows up, while at the finish, we picked up some pepperiness. These flavors don’t linger all that long, i.e. the finish is pretty short.

The Verdict

The Hilhaven Lodge may not have blown us out of the water, but we definitely enjoyed it. We may even go so far as calling this a great summertime dram. If easy drinking, well balanced whiskeys are your thing, then you should definitely give this a try. We think it would pair well with some vintage DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince…


Many thanks to the good people at Taylor Strategy for sending us this very generous sample!

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