Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tasting Notes: Parker's Heritage Collection 2012

Parker's Heritage Collection is a highly sought after annual release from Heaven Hill distillery.  The Heritage Collection allows Parker and Craig Beam, the father-son Master Distiller team at HH, to really explore the studio space in the Heaven Hill rick houses.  In past years, they've released a wheated bourbon finished in cognac casks, an ultra-aged bourbon (27 years) and a cask proof wheated bourbon among others.

PHC 2012
This year they've a high proof, 131.6 proof, mix of wheat and rye mash bills.  I was able to secure this bottle from Hi-Time Wine out of California.  I've spent some time with this bourbon, as I've tasted it a couple times over the course of the past 6 weeks or so.  On to the details:

Nose: Cinnamon, orange peel, and a whiff tobacco and leather.  I can tell from the nose that this is a complex bourbon.

Taste:  A maple sweetness on the tip of the tongue upon entry.  As it moves across the tongue, I got some traditional rye spiciness, and on the back of tongue I got more of the pleasing sweetness usually associated with a wheater.

Finish:  A nice complex mix of spice and sweet.

Overall:  I rate this at 89.  This improved a good deal after I opened.  When I first tasted it a few weeks ago,  I did not care for it.  After opening up some, it seems to have improved.  I'd be interested to taste this blind, since I know what's in it, I know what to taste for.  It would be interesting to see what I could pick out not knowing what it is.

All that said, it isn't as good as some of the Parker's Heritage Releases, though I haven't tasted them all.  The 2011 cognac barrel finished bourbon is one of my all time favorites, but this one does not reach that level.  It's a good bourbon though, and and if you can find for around $70, I think you should buy it.  I bought two; one to drink and one to bunker.

(Cross-posted at my wife's blog, Bourbon and Chocolate)

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