Heaven Hill’s highly anticipated annual fall limited release of Parker’s Heritage Collection is back and continues the recent series of heavy char barrel strength whiskey. For 2021—the fifteenth edition—Parker’s Heritage Collection is an 11-year Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey. I was a huge fan of the 2014 Parker’s Heritage Collection, “Original Batch” Wheat Whiskey, and was excited to see what the heavy char barrels contribute to the same whiskey.
So, like PHC 13 (Heavy Char Rye Whiskey) and PHC 14 (Heavy Char Bourbon Whiskey), Wheat Whiskey makes the heavy char trifecta this year. Heaven Hill’s wheat whiskey was aged in Level 5 charred barrels, as opposed to the customary Level 3 for Heaven Hill. That’s 90 seconds of intense flame! Comprised of only 75 barrels aged on the sixth floor of rickhouse Y at the main campus in Bardstown for the past 11 years, this wheat whiskey was aged in the same location as last year’s Heavy Char Bourbon Whiskey.
As with previous years, Heaven Hill continues its support of ALS research in honor of Heaven Hill’s late Master Distiller, Parker Beam. Since 2013 with the Promise of Hope edition, Heaven Hill has raised more than one million dollars for ALS research and patient care by contributing a portion of the sales from each bottle. This remarkable effort by Heaven Hill should be much bigger news than it is.
Parker’s Heritage Collection Tasting Notes
|Bourbon:||Parker’s Heritage Collection 11-Year Heavy Char Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey|
|Distillery:||Heaven Hill, Bardstown, Kentucky (distilled in Louisville and aged in Bardstown)|
|Mashbill:||51% wheat; 37% corn; 12% malted barley|
|ABV:||61% (122 proof)|
Dark amber with a slight red hue. Very similar to the first two heavy char PHCs.
Beautifully sweet aromas led by butterscotch with honeysuckle, vanilla, and snickerdoodle cookies, built around leather, oak, and black pepper. High proof is evident, but not 122 proof.
The gorgeous aromas get blasted on the first sip—this is not a delicate, mellow whiskey. It’s robust while balancing mouthwatering butterscotch sweetness and buttery graham cracker crust with bold spice, black pepper, some slight cinnamon, tobacco, and oak. It’s missing the creaminess of last year’s PHC and instead focuses on packing a wallop.
Long with a gear shift from the same butterscotch sweetness to somewhat drying tobacco, leather, and oak.
Heaven Hill proves again that heavy char doesn’t mean more smokiness; it usually means more sweetness because of more hemicellulose breaking down into sugars, which explains the prominence of butterscotch. Between this year’s edition and the 2014 Original Batch, this also convinces me that I need more barrel strength wheat whiskey from Heaven Hill in my life. I highly recommend this Parker’s Heritage Collection.
Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly
sent me a sample for this review,
without any strings attached.