Parker Heritage Collection Release 2023 Limited Edition Bottling

  • Rating: 5
  • Value: 5
Classification: ,
Ingredients: , ,
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Very smooth andd flavorful, just wish it was a bit older.

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 and the TryBox Series New Make Rye, both of which were new straight off the still whiskies, which were fun to compare 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 BarrelLarceny Bourbon, Henry McKenna, Old Fitzgerald series, 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, 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 has been a very wide range of Parkers’ personal favorites and barrel picks over the years, and releases in the series include Parkers Heritage 2009 (3rd Release) or Golden Anniversary, Parkers Heritage  Number 7 Promise of Hope, Parkers Heritage Number 8, a Wheat Whiskey. Since his passing in 2017, the selection and naming of the subsequent series has been in the hands of a select few who strive to preserve both Parkers’ Standards of excellence and his desire for experimentation and exploration of possibility. This spirit is evidenced by subsequent releases such as the Parker Heritage 15 Edition Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey from the Fall of 2021 and many others.

Parker was a good friend; we were very sorry when he passed away in 2017. We learned a lot from him; he was always a gentleman, had a dry wit, and had great insights. After his passing, the series was continued in his honor, and now the Parkers Heritage Number 16 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. Since Parkers’ passing, it has fallen to the new master distillers and blenders to find a unique and limited release to commemorate Parker and carry on both his whiskey and charitable traditions. As a side note, Heaven Hill has donated more than 1.2 million dollars since 2013 from the Parker Heritage Collection.

This particular expression ( the 17th edition for those who are counting ) is a ten-year-old rye whiskey coming in at Cask Strength, which was 128.8 proof. Mashbill is 51% rye, 35% corn, and 14 % malted barley.

Appearance:  Nice gold maple syrup color to it. On swirling, it leaves a light coat on the glass, very even and with almost no legs to it.

First Impression: Spirity at first blush but then settles down a bit. Light toffee smells with slight grassiness to it, orange/tangerine, anise, fennel?, Honey develops a little later along with Spanish cedar.

Taste: Very smooth, slightly oily entry, nice rye profile. Grain, slight grassiness, sweet-sour rollercoaster of rye that smooths out nicely.

Drinks: Makes for an extremely smooth and proper Manhattan and a dynamite Old Fashioned. At the bottle price, though, I think it is best appreciated in a proper tasting glass with a splash of warm water to open it up.

Bottle: I cannot comment as we did not receive a production bottle, sadly.

Other: Would pair nicely with a Connecticut shade-grown wrapper, maybe a Davidoff or Ashton?

Final Thoughts: At $185 a 750 ML bottle, even with some of the proceeds going to charity it is a bit of a stretch for me personally. It reminds me quite a bit of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection ryes, and at least you might have a chance of buying a bottle of this!


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