I have liked all of the Parker’s Heritage Collection. Parker Beam was a great distiller at Heaven Hill and had a great palate for whiskey. He always picked great products for this collection and this one is no exception. It is not my favorite from the collection since I tend to like younger, less barrel driven whiskey, but you will never see me turn down a glass of this expression. This Bourbon is a traditional mash bill with corn, rye and malt, aged in new charred barrels for 24 years. It is Bottled-in-Bond so it is 100 proof and all comes from the same season and same distillery with nothing but pure water to adjust the proof.

This was the last expression released before Parker passed away. However I suspect that he had made selections of candidates several years in advance so his hand will still be on the brand for a few more years. And of course, he had a hand in making the whiskey for many years to come. Heaven Hill also gives a portion of the cost of the bottle to ALS research in Parker’s name. A fitting tribute to a great man.

Parker’s Heritage Collection – Bonded

Proof: 100

Age: 24 years old

Nose: Oak and crème brûlée with a bit of dates and baking spice. Very barrel driven and smells like a warehouse on a summer’s evening.

Taste: Oak and lots of it with tannins and spice. There is some caramel and dates but they take a back seat to the oak and spice. The spice is baking spices of cloves and nutmeg. Tasted with a dried cranberry brings forward the dates and maybe even some blackberry flavors but it is still dominated by the oak. Tasted with a pecan the fruit becomes a little more citrus but the oak and spice becomes a little more cinnamon and less clove.

Finish: Very dry oak. Long, dry and just a hint of those spices. The cranberries makes the finish a little more interesting with more baking spices and less raw oak tannin. The pecan makes the finish a little sweeter which I find interesting. It is still dry but there is less of the bitter tannin to the oak.

I like this Bourbon but as I said, I am not a fan of Bourbon that is real old and barrel driven in flavor. If you like the oak then you will love this expression. I had to think hard as to what cigar I would pair with this Bourbon and decided upon a Padron 1964 Anniversary. The smoke brings out the caramel and a hint of chocolate in the Bourbon and the Bourbon adds a hint of those baking spices to the smoke. They complement each other very well.

Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach