Heaven’s Door first entered the marketplace in 2018. The brand is produced in partnership by legendary musician Bob Dylan along with the Chicago-based venture capital firm Spirits Investment Partnership (SIP). On paper this is not a typical celebrity endorsement type of deal. Ryan Perry serves as Heaven’s Door Master Blender as well as Co-Founder of the company. Prior to Heaven’s Door he worked for spirits giant Diageo where he worked directly with Distillers and Master Blenders. While working on the North American Whiskey Sales Team, he met his future business partner Marc Bushala. Currently, Marc Bushala serves as the CEO of Heaven’s Door and is also the President of Spirits Investment Partnership (SIP).
Ryan who reached out to legendary musician Bob Dylan after learning he has registered the name Bootleg Whiskey in 2015. However, Perry didn’t like the name Bootleg, though, because he didn’t want customers to confuse their brand with the moonshine whiskey. After a long process, the collaboration launched the Heaven’s Door brand, named for perhaps Dylan’s most famous song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”
Each bottle of Heaven’s Door features a copy of an iron gate work created and sold by Bob Dylan.
Bourbon Review: Heaven’s Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 46% (92 Proof)
Age: 6+ Years
Color: Dark Copper
Mash Bill: 70% Corn, 30% Rye & Malted Barley
Distillery: Not Disclosed
Location: Columbia, Tennessee (USA)
The Nose: A wonderfully complex aroma wafts upwards from the glass, Notes orange, buttered warm bread, vanilla and honey engage the nose. The buttered bread stands out, especially when taking a second aroma from the glass.
The Taste: A quick burst of cinnamon appears on the initial sip before fading only to reappear on the finish. In between the bourbon serves up nuance of honey, maple, buttered pumpernickel and oak. There is a wonderful sweetness with some subtle heat on secondary sips. The result is a bourbon that fully engages the palate.
The Pairing: We opted to pair this cigar with an Elenor Rose by Serino Cigars in the Revolver size. We chose this pairing for other reason than making a Guns N Roses pun. The band famously covered Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door in 1991 on Use Your Illusion II. The cigar on its own offers upvotes of mocha and honey.
When paired the cigar tones down some of the sweetness of the bourbon while enhancing notes of cinnamon, baking spices and introduces hints of almonds. As always our pairing never affects our final score, but if it did it would result in a +1.
The Finish: One of my issues with celebrities being attached to a brand is the inflated cost as that celebrity wants to be paid for their name attachment. We see this in many industries and it was especially noticeable during the Air Jordan days as Nike went dramatically up in price for the use of Michael Jordan’s name and likeness. Heaven’s Door would be a great bottle at $34.99, however at $50 I want a bit more bang for my buck. With that said, should price be a factor in a score, I will say no. Will it prevent me from buying this on the regular, yes. This a very good bourbon that is complex and smooth, I just wish it was a bit less expensive.