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What's It Worth? Parker's Heritage Collection

What's It Worth? Parker's Heritage Collection

April 12, 2021 –––––– Jonny McCormick, , , ,

In“What's It Worth?”our resident auction expert examines the collectibility of a distillery, brand, or series. Here he examines the fortunes of Parker's Heritage Collection.

Among the hotly anticipated limited-edition whiskeys released every fall is Parker's Heritage Collection from Heaven Hill Distillery. The series, which spans multiple styles, was launched in 2007 by master distiller Parker Beam, who passed away from ALS in 2017 at the age of 75. Many of these offerings feature among Whisky Advocate's highest-ever scores for American whiskeys. With over 14 releases to date,* the Parker's Heritage Collection has explored everything from well-aged bourbon, rye, malt, and wheat whiskeys, to single-cask releases, innovative cask finishes, and the flavor impact of heavily charred barrels.

Given the diversity of age statements and whiskey styles the series encompasses, it's unsurprising that auction values do not run chronologically. While prospective buyers will find recent releases relatively easy to obtain at auction, Parker Beam's selections from 2007-2009 seldom appear more than once or twice a year, and this scarcity is reflected in substantially higher prices.

*2007, 2010, 2012, and 2014 all featured more than one edition and the 2017 release including multiple single barrels.

Before You Bid, Some Advice


Parker's Heritage Collection is unboxed, but not every bottle still has its original neck tag, so carefully check the information provided by the auction house if you're trying to collect a pristine set.

PARKER'S HERITAGE COLLECTION Ranked by Highest Hammer Price (March 17, 2020-March 17, 2021)



Parker's Heritage Collection 12th edition 18. Parker's Heritage Collection Curaçao Barrel-Finished Bourbon (2018, 12thedition)

Hammer Price: $340 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

Bourbon aged for 7-8 years on the upper floors of Heaven Hill's Rickhouse Q was re-casked into barrels that previously held orange curaçao, a liqueur made from the green peel of bitter citrus fruit. The original retail price was $90. Despite the oddball finish, Whisky Advocate scored this whiskey 90 points.


Parker's Heritage Collection 9th edition17. Parker's Heritage Collection 8 Year Old Straight Malt (2015, 9thedition)

Hammer Price: $342 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Nov. 9, 2020

This is not an American single malt, but a malt whiskey, distilled from 65% malted barley and 35% corn. The final whiskey came from 141 barrels that matured on the fifth and seventh floors of Rickhouse Y. Original suggested retail price was $100 a bottle.


Parker's Heritage Collection 8th edition16. Parker's Heritage Collection 13 Year Old Original Batch Cask-Strength Straight Wheat Whiskey, 63.7% ABV (2014, 8thedition)

Hammer Price: $650 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

This 13 year old bottling, priced at $90 on release, aged on the top floor of Rickhouse Y, was part of the original batch of wheat whiskey laid down in September 2000 that eventually became the Bernheim brand. Whisky Advocate scored this limited edition 89 points. It also has a companion bottling at a slightly different proof (see below).


Parker's Heritage Collection 13th edition15. Parker's Heritage Collection 8 Year Old Heavy Char Straight Rye (2019, 13thedition)

Hammer Price: $681 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Oct. 5, 2020

Marking the first straight rye in the Parker's Heritage Collection, this whiskey was matured in “heavy char” barrels that were burned for 90 seconds. The 75 barrels used in this batch came from the seventh floor of Rickhouse Y. Originally priced at $150, the rye received high praise, netting 92 points in the Buying Guide.


Parker's Heritage Collection 11th edition14. Parker's Heritage Collection 11 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Bourbon (2017, 11thedition)

Hammer Price: $690 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Nov. 9, 2020

The 2017 release of Parker's Heritage Collection included around 115 single barrels of bourbon, all aged 11 years and priced at $130. Many of these bottlings appeared at auction in the past 12 months, with the one from barrel #5027249, bottled at 61% ABV, gaining the top hammer price.

13. Parker's Heritage Collection 13 Year Old Original Batch Cask Strength Straight Wheat Whiskey, 63.4% ABV (2014, 8thedition)
Hammer Price: $725 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Feb. 28, 2021

Heaven Hill released two versions of this straight wheat whiskey, bottled at slightly different proofs, though auction values are similar for both. While Whisky Advocate reviewed only the 63.7% ABV release, expect the quality of both to be equal.


Parker's Heritage Collection 6th edition12. Parker's Heritage Collection Master Distiller's Blend of Mashbills Straight Bourbon (2012, 6thedition)

Hammer Price: $725 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

Beam made two styles of bourbon, one with wheat as the flavor grain and the other with rye. He combined both styles, drawing on barrels from the fourth floor of Rickhouse R and seventh floor of Rickhouse T, to create a special four-grain bourbon. Released at $80, this was bottled at four ABVs: 69.7%, 68.95%, 66.6% (as sold by Unicorn Auctions above), and 65.8%; the latter was rated 91 points.


Parker's Heritage Collection 14th edition11. Parker's Heritage Collection 10 Year Old Heavy Char Bourbon (2020, 14thedition)

Hammer Price: $738 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Feb. 8, 2021

Following the Heavy Char rye from the year before, this bourbon was matured in barrels that were charred with the same 90-second burn. It was distilled from 78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye and aged on the sixth floor of Rickhouse Y. Originally priced at $120, this 10 year old whiskey scored 93 points.


Parker's Heritage Collection 5th edition10. Parker's Heritage Collection 10 Year Old Cognac Barrel-Finished Bourbon (2011, 5thedition)

Hammer Price: $850 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Feb. 28, 2021

French Limousin oak casks formerly used to mature grand champagne cognac were filled with 10 year old Kentucky straight bourbon and monitored closely over the next 5-6 months until bottling. Originally priced at $80, this bourbon was rated 91 points in the Buying Guide.


Parker's Heritage Collection 10th edition9. Parker's Heritage Collection 24 Year Old Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon (2016, 10th edition)

Hammer Price: $989 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Mar. 8, 2021

No one makes more bottled-in-bond whiskeys than Heaven Hill, and this edition was made at its old distillery in Bardstown, destroyed by fire in 1996. Two versions were produced from liquid laid down in Fall 1990 and Spring 1991, though you'll need to check the back label to see what version you have, as both carry the same ABV. With a release price of $250 a bottle, this was the most expensive release in the series to date.

8. Parker's Heritage Collection 10 year old Wheated Mashbill Cask-Strength Straight Bourbon, 62.1% ABV (2010, 4thedition)
Hammer Price: $1,149 at Whisky Hammer
Sold: Feb. 21, 2021

For the 4thedition, Beam selected barrels of wheated bourbon, splitting the release into two versions with different proofs. Each was originally priced at $80, and both net similar values at auction.


Parker's Heritage Collection 4th edition7. Parker's Heritage Collection
10 Year Old Wheated Mashbill Straight Bourbon, 63.9% (2010, 4thedition)

Hammer Price: $1,177 at Whisky Hammer
Sold: Feb. 21, 2021

The higher-strength bottling of the 4th edition was the one rated by Whisky Advocate. It scored 93 points in the Buying Guide.


Parker's Heritage Collection 7th edition6. Parker's Heritage Collection Promise of Hope Straight Bourbon (2013, 7thedition)

Hammer Price: $1,450 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Feb. 28, 2021

Originally priced at $90 and rated 92 points, Promise of Hope was released in conjunction with the ALS Association following Beam's diagnosis with the condition. Ever since, Heaven Hill has supported ALS research and patient care through each subsequent Parker's Heritage Collection release, raising over $1 million to date.

5. Parker's Heritage Collection 1996 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon, 64.8% ABV (2007, 1stedition)
Hammer Price: $1,827 at Whisky Auctioneer
Sold: Aug. 3, 2020

Heaven Hill launched the Parker's Heritage Collection with three different barrel-proof bourbons, each priced at $80. Rarities on the auction circuit, these bottles now command very high prices whenever they appear. (See below for the other two.)


Parker's Heritage Collection 2nd edition4. Parker's Heritage Collection 27 Year Old Straight Bourbon (2008, 2ndedition)

Hammer Price: $1,900 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

Priced at $200 on release and rated 96 points, the second Parker's Heritage Collection whiskey is also its most aged. As one of the early releases, it is scarcely seen at auction, so collectors will need to be persistent to hunt one down.


Parker's Heritage Collection 3rd edition3. Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary Straight Bourbon (2009, 3rdedition)

Hammer Price: $1,950 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

Released to celebrate Beam's 50th anniversary in the industry, this legendary bourbon was originally priced at $150 and received 97 points—the first American whiskey ever to receive a score this high from Whisky Advocate.

2. Parker's Heritage Collection 1996 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon, 63.7% ABV (2007, 1st edition)
Hammer Price: $2,000 at Unicorn Auctions
Sold: Dec. 31, 2020

The earliest versions from this series are rarely seen nowadays, but with a rating of 94 points, there will never be a shortage of collectors looking to add a bottle of this quality to their collection.


Parker's Heritage Collection 1st edition1. Parker's Heritage Collection 1996 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon, 61.3% ABV (2007, 1st edition)

Hammer Price: $2,134 at Whisky Hammer
Sold: Sep. 9, 2020

The highest-value bottle from Parker's Heritage Collection was rated 95 points. At $2,134, this sale represents a 25-fold increase in value from its original retail price. The values collectors attach to this series are a further tribute to the life's work of Parker Beam.

Please note: Highest hammer prices set during the past 12 months were determined from the following selection of leading whisky auction houses: Scotch Whisky Auctions, Whisky Auctioneer, Whisky Hammer, Whisky.Auction, Just Whisky, Whisky Online Auctions, Grand Whisky Auction, Bonhams, Sotheby's, Skinner Inc., Hart Davis Hart, and Unicorn Auctions. Prices were converted to U.S. dollars using Xe.com exchange rates from the date of each auction. Highest hammer prices from the past 12 months are shown from the specified date, and future auction results may produce higher or lower hammer prices.