Heaven's Door Ascension Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


Heaven's Door is a whiskey brand that was established in 2015. The term bootleg whiskey was trademarked by Bob Dylan, although he did not initially intend to create a whiskey brand. However, Marc Bashula and Ryan Perry, two whiskey experts who had previously worked with Angel's Envy and Diageo, respectively, saw an opportunity and invited Dylan to join them in their whiskey venture. Although Dylan initially scoffed, he eventually changed his mind in 2018 and became a co-creator. The name was inspired by his 1973 hit Knocking on Heaven's Door.


In 2017, work began on its Six Mile Creek distillery in Pleasureville, Kentucky, and in 2018, it was still equipped with a custom-made Vendome. Production has been carefully overseen by Heaven's Door's Master Distiller, Ken Pierce, and Master Blender, Alex Moore.


Until now, Heaven’s Door has been sourcing whiskeys from around the country. Ascension is the first release from Heaven’s Door to include distillate from its own still. It is a blend of two Bourbons, with the second coming from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery. Ascension will be a permanent part of its core expressions, including Refuge, a straight Rye whiskey; Revival, a Tennessee Straight Bourbon; and Revelation, a Double Barrel whiskey. On a side note, you can purchase a 200ml Refuge/Revival/Revelation set from the distillery’s website.


“Our commitment to crafting award-winning whiskey is evident in every step of our process, from grain selection to distillation to the barrels we use for blending. For this exceptional Kentucky bourbon, we meticulously blend each small batch to create its distinctive flavor profile. We are excited to add our own Kentucky bourbon to our permanent collection and invite bourbon lovers to compare and contrast it with our award winning Tennessee bourbon. Both of the Heaven’s Door bourbons feature similar mash bills, are aged for the same amount of time and bottled at the same proof, but result in two very different bourbon expressions.” – Alex Moore


Ascension’s mashbill is broken down between the two distilleries. Its house mash is 76% corn, 15% rye, and 9% malted barley, while the sourced component is 70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% malted barley. It is at least six years old, non-chill filtered, and blended in ten or fewer barrels. Packaged at 46% ABV (92°), a 750ml bottle has a suggested price of $54.99.


For the record, I’ve not yet had a chance to try the other Heaven’s Door core expressions, so I’m heading into this #DrinkCurious expedition blind. I must thank Heaven’s Door for providing me with a sample of Ascension in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured this Bourbon into my Glencairn glass to sip neat. Its color was golden honey, and a medium-thin rim released thin droplets that fell down the wall.


Nose: I smelled honey, oak, corn, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Drawing the air into my mouth provided a taste of caramel.


Palate: Ascension’s texture was creamy and slid easily around the inside of my mouth. The initial flavors included nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar, while the middle featured vanilla, honey, and graham crackers. The back offered charred oak, clove, and candied ginger.


Finish: The warming finish included brown sugar, candied ginger, clove, and charred oak, and remained active for a few minutes.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Ascension drank at about its stated 92°, making it something that would appeal to enthusiasts and newbies alike. Its mouthfeel was attractive, it had plenty of flavor to keep your attention, and that finish was lovely. Ascension has much to offer for its $54.99, and you can often acquire it for 10-15% less. My opinion? This is a Bourbon you’ll want to have on hand, and it earns my Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.