Monday, October 8, 2012

Parker's Heritage Collection 2012: Blend of Mashbills

One of the annual special releases I most look forward to each fall is the Heaven Hill's Parker's Heritage Collection. Like the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, the Parker's is always good (and sometimes amazing), but unlike the BTAC, Parker's is always something different and is usually easy to find on the shelf.

This year, Heaven Hill brings us a "Master Distillers' Blend of Mashbills." It's a vatting of rye recipe bourbon and wheated bourbon distilled in 2001, and bottled at cask strength.

There were three different barrel minglings (aka "dumps") that will be released, each with a slightly different abv. The one I review here is the first dump.

Parker's Heritage Collection 2012 "Master Distiller's Blend of Mashbills", 11 yo, 65.8% abv ($80)

The nose starts with lots of spicy rye and winds through yeasty bread notes, ending with a good dose of oak, a pleasant journey. The palate starts with the acidic kick I'd usually identify with a wheated bourbon though even more acidic, like a sour lemon candy, then some chocolate notes (you want specifics? I'd say high cacao Costa Rican chocolate). Water brings clarity, that initial sour kick is more lemony and is followed by caramel and wood (more an oak tree than cut wood), though the sourness lingers. The finish is a muted oak, the sour notes reduced to a tangy tongue.

It's interesting how the wheat and rye work together here. It smells like a rye bourbon put tastes more like a wheater. As I said, Parker's bourbons range from good to amazing. I'd put this further toward the good range. It's a solid bourbon with a great nose and some interesting flavors, but I found the sourness a bit overpowering, and I didn't think the whole thing came together as well as some of the past releases.

1 comment:

sam k said...

Looking forward to making a personal evaluation at WhiskyFest New York...they'll be pouring it there!