Interesting and well made, but not to my personal taste.
Notes: This whiskey is produced at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, and has a new visitors center the Bourbon Heritage Center (which sadly was about to open the week after we visited so we never got there).
Close to both Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve Distillery if you are touring. Home of numerous other whiskies such as Trybox Series New Make, TryBox Series New Make Rye, Elijah Craig 12 Year Old, Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel, Elijah Craig 21 Year Old Single Barrel, Evan Williams Vintage 2000, Evan Williams Vintage 2003, Larceny Bourbon, Henry McKenna, Old Fitzgerald, Fighting Cock and Cabin Still among others.
The Parkers Heritage Collection has been a very wide range of Parkers personal favorites over the years and releases the series includes Parkers Heritage 2009 (3rd Release) or Golden Anniversary , Parkers Heritage Number 7 Promise of Hope, Parkers Heritage Number 8 a Wheat Whiskey, and now this the Parkers Heritage Number 9 a Malt Whiskey
On the golden (50th) year of his employment at Heaven Hill, Parker Beam, the Master Distiller, came up with the idea personal blend to commemorate the event. Every year since then the whiskey community has been treated to a yearly release of something special to commemorate another anniversary with a unique whiskey. This ones possibly more unique than others, and the blend itself requires some explanation – ht is a blend of 65% malted barley and 35% corn straight whiskey created by Craig Beam in 2006 and the barrels were placed on the 5th and 7th floors of Rickhouse Y at their Bardstown aging facilities which gave them some nice temperature cycling without overdoing it.There were less than 141 barrels for this bottling so the supply is rather limited. This bottling is non chill filtered which means more taste but may become a touch cloudy at cold temperatures , this is a natural occurrence and should be seen as a mark of quality rather than a defect. Chill filtering is usually done for cosmetic reasons and can filter out some natural components and flavor.
Appearance: Clear amber gold, just starting to develop a slight red shift. On Swirling it leaves a thin coating on the glass with and edge line that oh so slowly develops some tears.
First Impression: Nicely malty with some corn sweetness underlying the caramel, fruit, barrel char, vanilla and touch of mint, with a rich,round feel of nicely dense malt bouquet.
Taste: Malt sweetness with caramel notes gives way to a dryness with barrel chair and hints of mint and vanilla with the lingering corn sweetness pushed to the background accompanied by grain and charcoal in the finish with notes of earthy loam. More a Irish type whiskey than a bourbon, being somewhat drier and not having a rye sweet/sour/spice influence.Also has a little resemblance/reminiscent ( vaguely) of a lowland or maybe a Speyside malt without the peat.
Drinks: Certainly any cocktail calling for an Irish type whiskey or a lighter form of Scotch. Pleasant enough to enjoy on its own also.
Bottle: Bottle is similar to the earlier releases but the labeling s changes to reflect the new release. Black and gold neckwrap with a real cork closure ( an increasingly rare thing) The short neck along with a heavy glass foot give it a distinct decanter look. Main body is slightly oval (more towards the bottom. with rounded edges give it a nice effect and shelf appeal (in the store or on your own shelf). Simple straightforward label with a slightly deckled edge has three different colors of ink with “Malt Whiskey” and “Aged 8 Years “picked out in white and gold.” Kentucky Straight refers to the fact it is over 100 proof with no additives . The weight and heft of the bottle conveys a solid feel. Overall the design harkens to antique malt bottle in overall influence and appearance.
Cigars: A shade wrapper , Ashton or maybe a Davidoff, probably a panatela and nothing larger than a corona.
Final Thoughts: I repeat this whiskey as well made and it has no large faults, but it just does not thrill me. It is a little overly dry in some ways and is a bit simple.For a fan of Irish Whiskey I think this would serve you well but it just isn’t quite there for me.
Fast loading and easy to navigate. This one of the most comprehensive bourbon (or any other spirit for that matter) website I have come across – and that is saying a lot! Extensive information and good pictures of how bourbon is made, the distillery, the bourbon heritage with reviews and ratings by different people and organizations of the different vintage years. Also the most extensive store of bourbon-related gear and accessories in the industry.