Proof: 122 / ABV: 61%
Age: 11 Years (Barreled 04/10/2006)
Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky, USA
Mashbill: 78% corn / 12% rye / 10% barley
Retail Pricing: $130 in 2017 up to $280 on secondary sites currently
Availability: Rare. Annually released in September. If you’re lucky you can grab one per person at the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown or Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in Louisville.
This is 11th edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection which generally features unique whiskies from Heaven Hill’s robust stocks. The whiskey here is an 11-year old Kentucky straight bourbon, non-chill filtered, and picked from the late Parker Beam’s favorite rickhouse location in Deatsville, Kentucky. The specifics of this particular bottle show it was aged in rickhouse DD, on the sixth floor in rick 39 and barreled on April 10th, 2006. Neat.
Sensibles: The nose is mostly dried cherries, sliced almonds, and vanilla with a decent ethanol burn offering a not so subtle reminder about the proof. I feel like the nose is markedly less substantial than the Elijah Craig 18-Year I reviewed and not too different from an Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. The taste is medium-bodied and a bit more complex than the nose with caramel corn, vanilla extract, and marshmallow alongside some smokiness and the expected burn. Finish is medium-length, hot, and notably dry. Kinda disappointing.
Value: When I first heard about the details on this release I was admittedly a bit underwhelmed. An 11-year old cask strength single barrel. Okay. Four Roses has those in ten different yeast/grain combinations (although the 10-12 year old private selects are admittedly hard to come by in 2019). Hell, their own Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bears a 12-year age statement for half the price. Is single barrel and a fancy bottling enough to justify the price? No. This bottling is designed to emulate Parker Beam’s process and honor his legacy and you’re paying for that really. Now since Heaven Hill donates $10 per Parker’s Heritage bottle to ALS research it’s hard to knock ’em too much. That said, I’d only grab this if you’re a serious Parker’s hoarder, otherwise you’re going to pay $280 on the secondary market for something you could get off the shelf for $65 at your local liquor store.
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