A bit overdone in the char department for me. Not a fan.
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 and several line extensions/releases. Among these are the Trybox Series New Make, TryBox Series New Make Rye , both of which were new straight off the still whiskies which were fun for comparing against their aged brothers or sisters. The more or less standard releases of Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel, Elijah Craig 21-Year-Old Single Barrel, Larceny Bourbon, Henry McKenna, Old Fitzgerald, Fighting Cock, and Cabin Still among others. There are also the multiple vintage releases of the Evan Williams line such as the Evan Williams Vintage 2000, Evan Williams Vintage 2003, and the multiple batches of the Larceny Barrel Proof Series, and the multiple Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch releases that we have reviewed (please use our search function to look all those up please).
The Parkers Heritage Collection had been a very wide range of Parkers’ personal favorites and barrel picks 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. Parker was a good friend and we were very sorry when he passed away in 2017, we learned a lot from him and he was always a gentleman and had a dry wit, and always had great insights. After his passing the series was continued in his honor and now this the Parkers Heritage Number 14 a Heavy Char is the latest release and continues the tradition of supporting ALS or Lou Gehrig’s
On the golden (50th) year of his employment at Heaven Hill, Parker Beam, the Master Distiller, came up with the idea of a 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 one is less unique than others in terms of mashbill – it is a more or less straight forward bourbon recipe ( 78% corn, 32% malted barley, and 10% rye),but the char level requires some explanation. This is a Level 5 Char. Common practice is a Level 3 or at most Level 4 which is also known as Alligator Char because at that point, the wood resembles an alligators skin –and the barrels came from only one floor this time- the 6th floor of Rickhouse Y at their Bardstown aging facilities which gave them some nice temperature cycling without overdoing it. There were less than 102 barrels for this bottling so the supply is rather limited. The whiskey is 10 years old.
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 an 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 a 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 char 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.
Drinks: Makes a nice Old Fashioned if a bit drier than most. Manhattan?Not so sure about that
Bottle: Bottle is similar to the earlier releases but the labeling s changes to reflect the new release. Apparently, this one sports a navy blue label but beyond that, we can’t comment as we did not receive a production bottle.
Cigars: A shade wrapper, Ashton, or maybe a Davidoff, probably a panatela and nothing larger than a corona.
Final Thoughts: While I am not a fan of this particular one, I am sure it will be hunted to extinction in short order. The hoarders and resellers will buy it but I can’t gather a lot of enthusiasm for actually drinking it.
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.