It’s round 16 for the Parker’s Heritage Collection, this one an unusual blend of of two different bourbons, one of which has been double barreled. The two bourbons are then blended post aging to produce this once-only limited edition.
The details are complicated, so I’ll let Heaven Hill explain it all:
This edition consists of 67% 13-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been double barreled for four weeks and then blended post aging with 33% 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The 13-year-old Bourbon, from barrels produced in December 2008, was aged on the 5th-7th floors of Rickhouse Q and then re-barreled into new American white oak barrels with a level three char for four weeks. Then, it was later blended with 15-year-old Bourbon from barrels produced in January 2007 aged on the 2nd and 5th floors of Rickhouse II. The unique, bold flavor profile is balanced by the double barreled 13-year-old Bourbon, bringing out even more oak and spice notes from the barrel, with the 15-year-old Bourbon rounding out the older aged mouthfeel. At bottling, the liquid was uncut and non-chill filtered to preserve the complex flavors. The mashbill for this edition is comprised of Heaven Hill Distillery’s traditional Bourbon mashbill 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley and ultimately bottled at barrel proof 132.2 or 66.1% alcohol by volume.
As usual, a portion of proceeds will be donated to support ALS research.
With all the wood and age involved with this whiskey, I came into it expecting an oak bomb from the start. Big surprise: It’s not woody at all, in fact, it’s extremely sweet — one of the most aggressively sweet bourbons I can recall sampling in recent memory. The nose cues you in, with notes of nutmeg and cinnamon aggressive from the start, gently peppered with a mild barrel influence evident, growing more insistent with time in glass. Bold vanilla elements are clear as day — particularly on the palate as you tuck into the powerfully sweet experience. Butterscotch notes are clear as a bell, milk chocolate and vanilla complementing the candylike quality perfectly. Barrel notes come into focus after the sweetness fades a bit — which takes some doing — giving the finish a peppery, slightly gritty quality, amplified by the sky-high abv on the whiskey. Water helps to tone everything down, but you’re definitely left with a sweet tea character lingering in the glass. Not a bad thing, but a thing.
This is an enjoyable whiskey that drinks nothing like your typical teenaged bourbon. Fun stuff, for sure, and surely a crowd-pleaser, but it’s ultimately a bit too sweet for my tastes.
A- / $175 / heavenhilldistillery.com