Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope Bourbon (2013)

Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope Bourbon (2013)

Parker's_ALS_Promise of Hope_Bottle ShotThe theme of this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection limited edition Bourbon release should come as no surprise: It is bottled in honor of Parker Beam (the “Parker” in the name of the spirit) and in recognition of his recent diagnosis with ALS, which we’ve discussed in prior posts here.

The Promise of Hope bottling is a very special release: A full 20 dollars from the sale of each bottle will go to the ALS Association for ALS research. The total proceeds raised for the Association should total more than $250,000 when the whiskey sells out (which, as usual, it will).

As for the spirit, it is the first single barrel bottling in the Parker’s Heritage Collection series, which is now on its 7th annual release. This year, Parker is keeping things simple. Mr. Beam has selected 100 favorite barrels from Heaven Hills’ inventory in the company’s Deatsville warehouse, from the top tiers of Rickhouse EE (you know Rickhouse EE, right?). The whiskey is 10 years old, non-chill-filtered, and bottled at 96 proof, Parker’s preferred strength. Note that although this is single-barrel whiskey, the bottles are not being individually numbered with a barrel identifier.

The whiskey is good stuff, and surprisingly unique. On the nose you get some burnt sugar but plenty of alcoholic burn, which makes sussing out additional notes tricky. Charred wood and slight cocoa notes are also evident, if in passing.

On the palate, the Bourbon takes on a whole new life, exploding with flavor. The burnt sugar takes on a fruitier character — a la Bananas Foster — backed with ripe apples and a little lemon zest. As the initial fruit/sugar concoction starts to fade, cinnamon notes take the field, with notes of marshmallow and gingerbread coming up behind. The overall effect is quite Christmas-like, unusual for Bourbon but wholly welcome. It’s easy to see why this is Parker’s favorite Bourbon. It’s drinking beautifully and is considerably different from most of the mass-produced Bourbons you’ll find on the market, all of which tend to be variations on a theme.

A large segment of the population, I’m sure, will balk at paying $90 for a 10 year old Bourbon (single barrel or no), and I can understand that. But remember: This one’s for a good cause. And it happens to be a really good, wholly unique Bourbon.

96 proof.


Parker's Heritage Collection Promise of Hope Bourbon (2013)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. JC on November 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I picked up a bottle of Promise of Hope today. I really like it a lot. I enjoy it much more than my 21 year Jefferson’s Presidential Select. I only paid $75 plus tax for the POH. It has plenty of flavor that really fills my mouth. I’m not going to get into different flavors i.e. “hints” of this and “balanced” that. Believe me, this a good tasting bourbon. Slightly similar to Black Maple Hill which I also enjoy. I’m glad I bought Parker’s Heritage POH.

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