Whiskey Reviews: Parker's Heritage Collection 10 Year: Heavy Char Bourbon (2020 Release)

The Parker’s Heritage Collection series is one of Heaven Hill’s rarest and most sought-after, a once-yearly expression named for late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam. Currently in its 14th edition, each Parker’s Heritage release is completely distinct, often exploring experimental or novel processes or finishing techniques, and for the past seven years the series has raised more than $1 million for ALS research and patient care via contributions from Heaven Hill for each bottle purchased. Parker’s Heritage Collection is a hallmark lineup of Heaven Hill Distillery’s exploration in premium innovation. The 14th edition continues the interaction of barrel char across varying mash-bills, this time with Heaven Hill’s traditional Bourbon mash-bill of 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. The Bourbon is aged in “Level 5” heavy char barrels, as opposed to our customary Level 3, and the resulting flavours carry intensified notes of our traditional Bourbon. Consisting of 102 barrels aged on the sixth floor of rick-house Y for 10 years, the heavy char brings forth a caramel and maple sweetness, as well as slight smokiness developed after 40 Kentucky seasons in the barrel. Packaged in the same upscale 750ml bottle as the previous thirteen editions, but with a navy blue label, the newest Parker’s Heritage Collection is available in a three-bottle case and will be available at retail starting in October. With previous releases having won multiple awards from Whisky Advocate magazine, Whisky Magazine and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the series stands as some of the most critically lauded American Whiskeys in recent memory. Past bottling have won awards ranging from “Best North American Whiskey” to “American Whiskey of the Year” to “Best of Show, Brown Spirits.”
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December 15, 2020 — Mark Hindaia