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Friday, November 27, 2020

Heaven Hill Announces 2020 Release of Parker’s Heritage Collection

Heaven Hill Distillery has announced the 2020 release of the Parker's Heritage Collection. The Parker's Heritage Collection is where Heaven Hill innovates with new techniques. It is named for the late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2010. A portion of the proceeds from each Parker's Heritage bottle sold is given to the ALS Association. 

Susan Wahl, Vice President, American Whiskeys at Heaven Hill Distillery states:
The Parker’s Heritage Collection is a testament to the attention to detail crafted throughout Heaven Hill’s distilling legacy. It is an honor to continue Parker’s interest in innovation through this series and showcase the variety of Heaven Hill Distillery’s portfolio. It is in tribute to Parker and his legacy that we continue to support ALS research and patient care with this series.

For the 2020 release, Heaven Hill used their traditional bourbon mashbill (78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye) and used a level 5 charred barrel that was blasted for a full 1 min. & 30 seconds (as opposed to their normal level 3, which is blasted around 35-45 seconds). For a solid guide to charring, Difford's Guide does a good job explaining it. Once in the level 5 barrel, the bourbon aged 10 years before bottling. 

The 2020 Parker's Heritage Collection is the 14th edition of the Parker's Heritage brand and comes bottled at a whopping 120 proof (60% alcohol) and is non-chill filtered to preserve all the flavor compounds. No MSRP was provided, but for context, the 2019 edition was listed on the Ohio Liquor site as being available in Ohio for $149.99. I would expect a similar price point for the 2020 version.  

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Balanced and fruit forward
Taste: Smooth, rich marmalade. Sweet but not cloying
Finish: Very long with hints of cinnamon, cloves, and chocolate

My Take

It's always nice to see distilleries have a cause associated with their brands. Maker's Mark recently did this with their CommUNITY release and Heaven Hill does it every year with the Parker's Heritage Collection supporting ALS. 

Now the $150+ question... is this worth buying if you see it. I think it's definitely worth thinking about it if you have the money. Charring can have huge impacts on the taste of the bourbon. Adding additional char brings that dark color and brings out the sugars in the wood, which Heaven Hill says 'brings forth a caramel and maple sweetness, as well as slight smokiness developed after 40 Kentucky seasons in the barrel.' For me, I think this is probably too high of a price point, but if you're in the market for a top shelf bourbon, you could do a lot worse than this one. 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

Source: Heaven Hill 

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