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Review: Hiram Walker's Ten High Ten Bourbon (1990)

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Hiram Walker’s Ten High Ten (1990) - 43%

Context: Low proof, 10 yr. Barton juice - distilled in 1980. This was the first dusty I acquired on the secondary market. After trying a bottle at Delilah's back in 2015, I decided to track some down, knowing it wouldn’t command the premium other '80s dusties might. I found someone willing to trade me 3 bottles of Ten High Ten and a liter of 1989 National Distiller’s OGD 86 proof for a 2015 Old Rip Van Winkle and a 2015 Weller 12. Never regretted that trade for a second (regardless of today's secondary values or what I rated the pour). Lots of solid dusty drinking with friends over those four bottles.

Nose: Fruit forward with orange and orchard fruits. I still get plenty of fruit with contemporary Barton distillate (VOB, 1792). This has the addition of a deep, dusty bourbon-caramel note that screams quality.

Flavors: A continuation of the light touches from the nose with fruits and wood. The only reason to be here is the rich, dusty caramel.

Palate Structure: Minor action while it dips into the rich caramels, but generally a little flat, leaning high-toned with citrus pith and oak. Finish is lackluster.

Alcohol Integration: Drinks at-proof and a little thin.

You’d Dig This If You Like:


Russell’s Reserve 10 yr.

Score: 6 (Solid - Above Average) Ultimately, it holds up. There were days the bottle tasted fantastic and days it fell a little flat. Usually, if I gave it enough air, it seemed to fatten up, revealing more depth in the caramel notes that I was a big fan of.

Rating System

10 - Reevaluate My Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Wish I Was Drinking Something Else

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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