2013 Parker’s Heritage Collection “Promise of Hope” bottling
10 years old; 96 proof
The story: For the past six years, Heaven Hill has released an annual limited-edition bourbon under the “Parker’s Heritage Collection” label, named for and selected by sixth-generation master distiller Parker Beam. Sadly, Parker was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). But he is still making whiskey, including this seventh iteration of the Parker’s Heritage Collection, a 10-year-old single-barrel, non-chill-filtered bourbon selected from Rickhouse EE at Heaven Hill’s Deatsville facility, one of his best spots for aging. He has dedicated this bottling to battling ALS – $20 of each sale will go the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund, a fund established through the ALS Association to fund research and patient care. Heaven Hill sent The Bourbon Babe a sample for this review.
Aroma: Butter and vanilla, and an unusual metallic note that I couldn’t quite identify; likely from the rye, it almost comes across as a spruce.
Taste: Sweet and buttery on the front, like pouring maple syrup over a stack of pancakes. The spices kick up mid-palate, and then it punches the back of your throat. The warmth travels all the way down to the sternum, where it lingers awhile; the long finish is smooth – no burn in the mouth – and leaves a nice minty aftertaste.
Verdict: This is a complex, multilayered bourbon – you might call it “masterful.” It’s what you would expect from a man who’s been making whiskey for more than 50 years. It is well worth seeking out just for the opportunity to support the Promise of Hope Fund, but I can promise you, you will also truly enjoy drinking it.