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97 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, 'Golden Anniversary', 50%

This bottling celebrates master distiller Parker Beam's 50 years of service by including whiskey from each of the past five decades. This is a fabulous whiskey: seamless and incredibly complex, with an impeccable marriage of youth and maturity. It’s also very even-keeled throughout -- quite different than last year’s equally impressive PHC, a 27 year old, whose personality was more like an exhilarating old wooden rollercoaster ride (and also brandished more oak). Look for candied citrus, nectarine, blueberry, and sultana anchored by a nougat center, laced with honeyed vanilla and orange creamsicle. There’s a dusting of cocoa powder, brittle mint, and cinnamon, too. Tobacco leaves, polished leather, and teasing bourbon barrel char round out the palate, emerging more prominently towards a warming finish. A classic!

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

96 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, 27 year old, 48%

Very well-balanced and mellow on the nose and palate.  Sweet notes of mature dark rum, toffee, nougat, and candy corn dovetail with dried apricot, golden raisin, hot cinnamon, soft mint tea, and vanilla.  Polished leather and tobacco leaves on a long, contemplative finish.  This is what ultra-mature bourbon should taste like: all the depth and complexity that comes with this much aging, without all the excessive oak.  The wood is there, but it never crosses the line.  The next closest Heaven Hill bourbon in age is the Evan Williams 23 year old for the export market.  There's no comparison.  The Evan Williams 23 year old is way past its prime.  This Parker's Heritage Collection has it easily beat.  In fact, this Parker's shows less oak and lethargy on the finish than the 129.6 proof expression of last year's inaugural 1996 vintage Parker's Heritage Collection, a whisky less than half its age.  (There were three different expressions, and I thought the other two were outstanding).
Parker Beam chose these whiskeys from the third floor of Warehouse U.  Given that the whiskeys were low in the warehouse, the average summer high temperatures were 6-10 degrees cooler than the top floor; helping to slow the aging process and the oak influence.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2008)

95 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, First Edition, 1996 vintage, 61.3%

There are two noteworthy items regarding this whiskey. It’s the first barrel-proof whiskey released by Heaven Hill for the U.S. market. It’s also the first of what will be an ongoing series of releases under the “Parker’s Heritage Collection” label. This one is rich, with thick toffee, molasses, vanilla fudge, and Heath bar. It’s also well balanced, with underlying exotic spice, summer fruit, dusty corn, and tobacco to balance the sweeter notes. Long, soothing, finish. A nicely matured bourbon of character and pedigree. (Originally reviewed in Volume 16, No. 4)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

94 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, First Edition, 1996 vintage, 63.7%

Thicker, beefier and more decadent than the 61.3% bottling, but not as crisp. Less of the summer fruits, and more of the chewy toffee. Another fine effort!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

93 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection (2010 release), 10 year old, 63.9%

Soft, sweet, and very smooth. Richly textured layers of caramel, toffee, vanilla fudge, nougat, maple syrup, and rhum agricole. Blackberry, date nut bread, cinnamon, subtle cocoa, and nutmeg add complexity. Clean, polished, and perilously drinkable. A delicious wheated bourbon! (Not quite the complexity of the 2009 William Larue Weller (a benchmark wheated bourbon which I rated a 96), but getting close.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2010)

92 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope 10 year old, 48%

From a single barrel, but the barrel number is (unfortunately) not specified. It’s nicely matured, deftly balanced, and complex, with a wide range of fruit, layered sweetness, and a cabinet full of spice, especially mint. Easy to drink—I’m enjoying it immensely without adding any water—and deceptively beautiful; there are no fancy bells or whistles here. Great bourbon, honoring a great master distiller.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

91 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection “Blend of Mashbills”, 65.8%

A blend of two different 11 year old bourbons—one being a rye-based bourbon, the other being wheat-based. The wheat lends drinkability, while the rye contributes a spicy zing. The combination works very nicely, with light toffee, nutty caramel, nougat, soft orchard fruit, black cherry, vanilla, and cinnamon. (Note: this is the first of three different batches that will eventually be bottled.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

91 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished 10 year old, 50%

Heaven Hill’s first wood-finished bourbon. Finished for several months in cognac casks (reminiscent of Beam’s Distillers’ Masterpiece offering around a decade ago), which show nicely without dominating. Very silky and smooth in texture. Notes of graham cracker, dark fleshy fruit (ripe grape, blackberry brandy), light toffee, maple syrup on pancakes, and creamy vanilla. Great balance, distinctive, and perilously drinkable for 100 proof.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

89 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Original Batch Wheat Whiskey 13 year old, 63.7%

Heaven Hill’s straight wheat whiskey, Bernheim Original, is a pleasant drink, but I always felt that some extra aging and a higher proof would give it additional richness and complexity to propel it to a higher level. That’s what this new expression accomplishes. Soothing, gentle layers of caramel-coated nuts, vanilla fudge, coconut cream, maple syrup, and marzipan, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cocoa. So easy to embrace. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

84 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey 8 year old, 54%

A rarity among the large American distillers: whiskey with a mashbill of 65% malted barley and 35% corn; no rye or wheat. The malted barley and corn dominate the flavor profile, along with soft sweet notes of orchard fruit and golden raisin, kissed with honey. The finish is soft, sweet, and quick. Clean, with an easy-going demeanor. Not particularly complex, however. If only the 35% corn was halved to include an equal amount of rye.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

80 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, First Edition, 1996 vintage, 64.8%

This one lacks the balance the other two have. It’s hotter on the palate (even with a liberal addition of water), and I feel the oak plays too large of a role.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

79 points

Parker’s Heritage (distilled Spring 1991) 24 year old, 50%

Take just a moment to admire the color; it’s nearly red after 24 years. Then admire the fragrance, with florals, fruit, caramel, and vanilla bargaining for their time over prominent oak. Complexity of earth, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, bitter chocolate, light cinnamon, sautéed mushrooms, watermelon Jolly Rancher, and a hint of tobacco. Eventually, woodiness and bitterness set in and dominate the palate. Too much wood.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

78 points

Parker’s Heritage (distilled Fall 1990) 24 year old, 50%

Non-chill filtered plus a lot of age equals oak meeting caramel, vanilla, earth, nuttiness, and mildew. Slight hints of anise, rose petals, tree bark, and overcooked rice, before over-oaked flavor dominates with medicinal notes and soap. Bitterness, earth, and a saving grace of herbs follow for a decent, albeit woody finish. This is simply over-oaked. I’d love to have tasted this bottled three to seven years ago.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)


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