Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Heaven Hill
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Release Date: December 2022
Age: Blend of 13 & 15 year old bourbons
Color: Dark Copper
MSRP: $175 (2023)
Cherry | Rich mature oak | Caramelized sugar | Toasted marshmallow | Honey | Barrel aged maple syrup | Excellent
Pecan pie | Dark cherry | Robust vanilla | Leather | Nutmeg | Thick & potent
Spicy mature oak | Barrel char | Cinnamon | Black peppercorn | Long & full of heat
A big bold barrel proof bourbon just might be Heaven Hill’s answer to what their competitors are doing.
The 2022 release of Parker’s Heritage Collection marks the brand's 16th edition. With each expression featuring a completely different style, this time out Heaven Hill toyed with extra maturation and blending. Once again like all releases starting with 2013’s Promise of Hope, Heaven Hill will contribute a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold to the ALS Association in honor of the late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam.
According to the press release, Parker’s Heritage Collection Double Barreled Blend consists of 67% 13-year-old bourbon, aged on the 5th, 6th, and 7th floors of Rickhouse Q. The bourbon then underwent a secondary maturation in newly charred level #3 barrels for an additional month. The bourbon was then blended with 33% 15-year-old bourbon from the 2nd and 5th floors of Rickhouse II. The age of the blended bourbon definitely brings back memories of Promise of Hope and the 11 Year Single Barrel - with its flavor profile not too far off from them either.
The bourbon nose is very reminiscent of Promise of Hope. Cherry, mature oak, and caramelized sugar combine to create that magic Heaven Hill aroma that many of their best whiskeys exhibit. The Double Barreled Blend also features a strong toasted marshmallow scent that is uniquely its own, which benefits the whiskey greatly. Thanks to its big 132.2 proof point, this bourbon is unsurprisingly bold and a freight train in its assertiveness. Big pecan pie notes, backed by dark cherry, robust vanilla, and nutmeg form what most would probably consider a classic style barrel proof bourbon palate. The same can also be said of its finish. Barrel char, cinnamon, black peppercorn, and spicy mature oak isn’t revolutionary, but nevertheless impactful.
The 16th edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It's a bit more robust and oak forward than you typically get with Heaven Hill bourbon - and that’s a great thing. In a lot of ways, it’s Heaven Hill's answer to Buffalo Trace’s George T. Stagg. It’s big and bold, lacks overt complexity, but is packed with oak notes all on the back of a nicely aged bourbon. It definitely airs more on the traditional side for the Parker’s Heritage Collection, but it's worth remembering some of the best editions did just this too. While it doesn’t reach the heights of the recent Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 17 Year Old Barrel Proof Bourbon or older Parker’s editions for that matter, its overall boldness both in proof and oak-forwardness gives the whiskey plenty of room to stand out on its own.