Parker’s Heritage Collection has always been a hit or miss series for me. How could it not be? It’s a completely different release every time so there’s never a guarantee that I’m going to like every experiment they come up with. Lately, I’m finding the series to be more misses than hits. It’s unfortunate because I used to look forward to this release every year. Now, I’m cautiously optimistic at best.
Today, I’m looking back at one of my favorite Parkers Heritage releases: the 8th edition 13 year old wheat whiskey.
This release uses the same mashbill as Bernheim wheat whiskey and is made from at least 51% wheat (though I suspect that it’s much higher than that). Aged 13 years and bottled at cask strength, this was bottled in two different batches at two different proofs. This review is from the first batch which was bottled at 127.4 proof.
This whiskey all came from the top floors of Rickhouse Y. I absolutely love this concept of using upper floor barrels that are typically spicier with more wood interaction in conjunction with a wheated mashbill that usually results in a softer flavor profile. It sounds like it should be a flavor contradiction but the end result proved to be the exact opposite.
This was the very last year that I was able to easily find a PHC bottle on shelves. For under $100, this was a no brainer back then. Let’s get to the review!
|Nose||Sweet and grainy up front (in a good way), caramel, whipped cream, ripe peaches and plums, faint oak, a bit of cinnamon.|
|Taste||Big oily mouthfeel. Fruit salad, milk chocolate, big oak, cherries, vanilla, dates, very light nutmeg, some orange peel.|
|Finish||Caramel latte, hint of berries, clove, a touch of fennel, then transitions to a slightly tannic, spicy oak.|
|Overall Thoughts||I’ve loved wheated whiskey for as long as I can remember and with good reason. Wheat brings out sweet notes that enhance a corn mash while rye brings out spice/herbal notes that complements the corn. To me, those grains serve opposite purposes which is why I’ll never understand mashbills that feature both of those grains. This drinks significantly under its proof despite aging in the top floor of a rickhouse. It’s complex and tasty the whole way through. An amazing expression from start to finish.|