As the year starts to wind down and all the whiskey publications start to reveal their Top 10 lists of 2017, I’m still sitting here tasting everything from this huge year of bourbon releases. I simply cannot decide! One in particular is this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection (PHC) boasting an 11 year Single Barrel. This release marks the 5th in the collection and comes after Parker Beam’s passing this January of 2017 from his 7 battle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
The past four editions from 2013-2016, including the “Promise of Hope” Bourbon, the “Original Batch” Straight Wheat Whiskey, the Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey, and the 24-Year-Old Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon respectively, have raised over half a million dollars toward ALS research and patient care through contributions made by Heaven Hill for each bottle purchased. Heaven Hill will continue with this cause-related campaign, and will contribute $10 from the average national retail cost of $129.99 of each 750ml bottle sold of this year’s release to the ALS Association.
This release brings many emotions to the forefront as beloved family, friends and fellow whiskey fans continue to support the Heritage Collection and it’s partnership with the ALS Association to promote awareness and fundraising efforts by purchasing these bottles- and now can be in honor of Parker’s passing. Any fan of Heaven Hill should know that their barrel program is undoubtedly the best in the business, and Parker Beam always thought so too, so when he was diagnosed with ALS, it eventually lead him to the creation of PHC. This year’s 11 year Single Barrel was the perfect way to commemorate him.
Just Tell Me About The Bottle, Damn it!
This release is an 11 year single barrel bourbon selected from the upper tiers of Parker’s favorite rickhouse located in Deatsville and bottled at 122 proof with no chill filtering (NCF). It’s distilled using Heaven Hill’s standard mash bill of 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley. Remember, this is a single barrel, so every bottle will have the similar flavor profiles but will mostly vary from barrel to barrel. I was able to purchase barrel #4769076 and I’m hoping it agrees with my palate. I’m already a huge fan of Heaven Hill’s products so it’ll be hard not to like the one. Why would I even try to not like it anyway? Sheesh. If you want to learn about your bottle, Heaven Hill has a cool search engine on their website.
Heaven Hill describes this years release as heavy spice and oak, with a hint of smoke and raisin, followed by a long and dry finish.
Released at the beginning of Fall 2017, the 2017 Parker’s Heritage Collection 11 Year Single Barrel is bottled at 61% ABV, 122 proof. For this review I will be tasting the whiskey with and without a few drops of water in a Glencairin glass.
Tasting Notes: 2017 Parker’s Heritage Collection 11 Year Single Barrel
Appearance: Deep amber glow
Nose: Lots of spice, barrel and tobacco at first sniff. After some opening up for approximately 7-8 minutes the tobacco comes out a lot more accompanied by subtle smoke and some sweet char.
Palate: The spice hits the tongue first. Immediately after I get a huge cherry tobacco bomb. Lots of tobacco, smoke, cherry up front and the raisin and tannins hit on the backend.
Finish: Long gentle finish. It’s dry but not that dry. Kind of half dry, half oily. Definitely lingers for a good amount of time.
Contents: 61% ABV // 122 proof // Single Barrel // 11 Years Old
Barrel #: 4769076
Barreled On: 01/09/06
MSRP: Approx. $130 depending on market. I found the bottle for this review at $130 plus tax in the San Francisco Bay Area, California… WITH coupons 😉 HA
I always get excited reviewing single barrels because their is always variation and I love discovering which ones are “honey barrels”. When it comes to this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection, barrel #4769076 is a standout for sure. I’m usually not into smokey tobacco dominant bourbons, but this one seduced my tongue. It’s very pleasant and not overwhelming at all. With balance from the cherry, it elevates the overall flavor to a richer level. This release is definitely a special one, especially with Parker’s recent passing.
Drinker Type: Fans of the Heritage Collection will definitely approve of this release. It’s very spice forward though, so if that’s not your thing, then you might not like this one. Again, this release is a big cherry tobacco bomb so if those two notes don’t tickle your fancy then i’d save the $130 plus tax.
Worth buying again? Absolutely! Not only is it a great bourbon, but buying a bottle of this goes to a great cause.
Editor’s Note: This whiskey was proudly purchased by Superfly Bourbon Club. In no way, does acquiring the bottle in any form manipulate the direction of this review. Some information sourced from HeavenHillDistillery.com.