About – Parker’s Heritage is a yearly limited release by Heaven Hill featuring a different type of whiskey each year. It is named in honor of Parker Beam, the long time master distiller for Heaven Hill. Parker passed away after a battle with ALS in 2013. Part of every sale of Parker’s Heritage is donated to fund ALS research. This is the 13th release and the first rye that has been released under this label. What makes this rye unique is that is was aged for 8 years in barrels with a level 5 char, higher than typically used for any bourbon or rye. Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char Rye is bottled at 105 proof and retails for $149.99, but will likely cost you upwards of $200 at retail if you are lucky enough to find one on the shelf.
Nose – Rye spice immediately hits with a heavy influence of stone fruit of a typical Heaven Hill rye. These aromas are met with a good amount of oak and smoke, the longer it is allowed to aerate the fruit comes more forward.
Palate – Very warm and spicy, this rye demands your full attention, there is a touch of orange peel in here and a slightly herbal quality. All of those flavors are accompanied by a tinge of smoke. The finish is long with herbal notes, but more predominately bitter oak.
Score – B
Verdict – I will start by saying that I am a fan of this series in general. I like seeing experimental releases from the major distilleries that are properly aged unlike many you we have seen from craft distillers recently. This release does fall about short when stacked up against others in this series however. It is a solid rye, but no better than could be found at much lower price points. If you can only purchase one allocated bottle per year there are better options out there.