2017 Parker’s Heritage Collection Bourbon Review

Photo courtesy of Heaven Hill Distillery

Parker’s Heritage Collection (PHC), Heaven Hill Distillery’s most anticipated annual whiskey release, is already hitting shelves.  The 2017 release is an 11-year-old single barrel bourbon bottled at 122 proof.  The barrels were chosen from the late Master Distiller Parker Beam’s favorite warehouse location in Deatsville, Kentucky.  This is similar to the 10-year-old single barrel PHC release a few years ago, only with more age and a much higher proof.

Beam passed away earlier this year after a years long battle with ALS, so it is fitting that Heaven Hill honored his legacy with a whiskey Beam would have described as “just good bourbon.”  This edition, like the last few, will see $10 from every bottle sold donated to the ALS Association.

The nose on this whiskey is stunning, showing hints of dark caramel, oak spice, vanilla and dried fruit.  It’s high proof doesn’t close off the nose, so water doesn’t need to be added to fully appreciate the contained aromas.  The entry is spiced toffee and dark fruit, followed by vanilla and more spice.  Sun-baked tobacco and oak appear on the backend.  Though oakier than the aforementioned 10-year-old release, this botting is NOT overoaked.  The long, bittersweet finish features hints of burnt sugar, wood smoke, and oak spice.

It is very rare for me to describe a whiskey as flawless, but that’s how this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection bottling comes across.  Like its younger sibling from a few years back, his 11-year-old is firing on all cylinders.  I do wish this was a barrel-proof release, but 122 proof is close enough.  A beautiful bourbon at a reasonable price, this one comes highly recommended. 9/10

Thanks to Heaven Hill for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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