Method – 3 ice cubes – Three fingers in 8 oz. rocks glass
Rating – 90-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits
This bourbon wasn’t even on my list of whiskey’s to try/buy but the local store from which I buy my hooch had it at a pretty good deal so I picked it up. I did note that it was a wheated whiskey, and being a lover of another wheated whiskey (Maker’s Mark and Maker’s Mark 46) I thought this might be a good selection. Also this is a cask strength whiskey which was another thing I hadn’t delved into yet. So those things combined, it seemed like a good exploratory purchase. At 63.9% abv, this is by far the most potent whiskey in my collection, and it definitely lived up to that on the first dram, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
The bottle is attractive, working with the plain paper labels, similar to that of the Knob Creek label, but a bit more refined type style. Like I said its a fairly attractive bottle but nothing too outlandish or different.
On the nose this whiskey gives heavy hints of very sweet caramel and vanilla. It really reminds me of a Sugar Daddy like scent, almost sticky sweet. Very little spice on the nose once it opens up, despite the very high abv%. Overall, the nose did make me want to take my first sip.
The first thing to note about this whiskey is that you HAVE to let it open a bit. I used a good dose of water to cut through that massive wall of heat. I tried it both room temp and on the rocks, and as usual I prefer it on the rocks, though neat it wasn’t bad. Despite the “wall o’ heat” that you get walloped with at the first sip, its a VERY smooth whiskey. It does have some burn, don’t get me wrong, but not what I expected from a 127.8 proof bottle. There is a bit of spice at the tip of the tongue but the flavor is mellow and even. The vanilla is very strong both at the outset and the finish but really shows its strength in the finish. Wheat’s ability to make bourbon have an almost “hoppy” (like beer hops) is always interesting and pleasant to me and that is on display in this whiskey. The finish is long and very pleasant, evolving in alternating sweet caramel and vanilla flavors, and deep oak and light leather flavors which are beautiful. The one thing I can say is that it, so far, is not a very complex flavor profile, and while that may seem like a complaint, in this case it isn’t. It may not be complex, but the simplicity is actually the strength of this whiskey for me. It is a smooth dram that paves the way for a mellow evening.
Heaven Hill, maker of Parker’s has this to say about the Heritage Collection:
Parker’s Heritage collection is a series of rare, limited edition American Whiskeys offered as a tribute to sixth-generation Master Distiller Parker Beam for his 45+ years of distilling experience.
This series tempts the growing number of Straight American Whiskey enthusiasts with something that only Heaven Hill could offer—a chance to sample these choice barrels that represent every major style of American Whiskey. As the only remaining national distiller that produces Bourbon, Rye, Corn and Wheat Whiskeys, Heaven Hill will continue to release various super-premium styles under Parker’s Heritage Collection.