Parker’s Heritage 13yr Wheat
Parker’s Heritage Collection
13 Year Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey
If you don’t know the deal with the Parker’s Heritage Collection, it was started by the Beam family in honor of Parker Beam, now Master Distiller Emeritus of Heaven Hill Distillery. After Parker was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), the family wanted to do something to raise awareness and money for fighting ALS. A portion of the sales of every bottle sold of these fine whiskeys goes to that cause. From most accounts, this once a year release is some of the best whiskey Heaven Hill puts out, and I can tell you based on my experience with this bottle that that is very true. Each year is a different release–they’ve done a 27 year old bourbon, a cognac finished bourbon, a wheated bourbon, and a few others. For this release they chose a cask strength wheat whiskey (51 percent wheat or more in the mash bill, so majority wheat instead of corn) pulled at the ripe age of 13 years. This whiskey was distilled in September of 2000, which was the first batch of wheat whiskey Heaven Hill ever made. This is essentially the same whiskey as the currently marketed Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey, though Bernheim is only aged 7 years and is watered down to 90 proof. It’s Bernheim’s big, beefy brother. And that right there makes me interested because whenever I drink Bernheim I like it but wish it was bigger and beefier.
And how awesome it is to try this beefcake. On the nose I immediately get a powerful sweetness of grape pixie sticks followed by red caramel apple, almond brittle, toffee, and oak. The oak is surprisingly secondary for a 13 year old whiskey, and for the proof this whiskey isn’t lighting my nose on fire like I expected, that’s nice. Very sweet-note oriented nose. Taking the first sip is heavenly. I love it immediately. Much more oak on the palate, tobacco, vanilla, mint. Big flavors. Much dryer than the nose lets on, the sweet notes are much more balanced by tannic oak on the palate. Finish is long and spicy, you definitely can tell it’s a cask strength whiskey, in a good way!
So happy to have found this bottle, and lucky enough to have taken a chance and bought three when I did find it, so I’ll be drinking this whiskey for a while. A very unique, delicious product from our friends at Heaven Hill. Look forward to trying their Parker’s Heritage 2015 release, an 8 year malt and corn whiskey coming out probably as I type this.
Rating: 9.3 / 10
Bought at an ABC Store in North Carolina for $84.99