This Thanksgiving, it might be a great time to look at some of Heaven Hill’s latest offerings. We’re tasting the new Parker’s Heritage Collection release, the most recent Old Fitzgerald, and the latest batches of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and Larceny Barrel Proof.
PARKER’S HERITAGE COLLECTION 2020 – HEAVY CHAR BOURBON
The 14th edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection plays with the barrel. Like last year’s rye whiskey release, this edition sees a bourbon that spent a decade maturing in heavily charred barrels. Heaven Hill generally uses a barrel with a char level of 3 for their whiskies, while barrels for this bourbon were charred to a level 5. It’s bottled at 120 proof. The extra charring contributes a darker character, giving us notes of maple syrup, roasted almonds, dried fruit and a touch of oak spice. The bold palate consists of a mouth coating toffee and vanilla extract. Coffee and dark chocolate-covered cherries develop soon afterwards, giving way to satisfying oak spice. The finish is long with lingering hints of toffee and barrel char.
Another winner! Heaven Hill has hit it out of the park with this year’s edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection. At an SRP of $120, this is an easy recommendation.
OLD FITZGERALD FALL 2020
This release of Heaven Hill’s wheated bourbon sees a 14-year age statement. It’s bottled-in-bond, keeping in line with the brand’s recent refresh. The subtle nose carries hints of coffee cake, cinnamon, and honey. Taste-wise, this whiskey presents itself in a sweet, yet rounded, manner. Caramel and sweet vanilla cake develop into a stewed fruit and cinnamon sugar. Some oak spice on the back of the palate keep this from getting too saccharine. The medium finish features oak and candied fruit.
The Old Fitzgerald Fall 2020 is one of the better releases as of late. It doesn’t drink like an old, stodgy 14-year-old whiskey. Instead, it’s rather sweet and playful while still maintaining an underlying complexity.
LARCENY BARREL PROOF (Batch C920)
The other wheated bourbon from Heaven Hill, Larceny shares the same mash bill as Old Fitz. This batch is proofed at 122.4. There’s no age statement but Larceny’s generally in the 6ish year range. The high proof shows in the nose, with strong hints of caramel and sweet corn with top notes of cinnamon and vanilla extract. The palate starts off a little fiery but quickly calms, revealing hints caramel corn, marzipan, and a touch of cardamon. The long, warming finish is semi-sweet with hints of vanilla icing and sweet oak.
Another solid batch that doesn’t veer from Larceny’s great flavor profile.
ELIJAH CRAIG BARREL PROOF (Batch C920)
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is easily one of my favorite whiskies. Batch C920 comes in at 132.8 proof. That means a splash of water is needed. I like high proof whiskey, but a 132 proof bourbon served neat isn’t doing your palate any favors. The nose features hints of roasted sweet corn and brown sugar. That trademark Elijah Craig oakiness is present, as is tinged orange peel. On the palate, this batch kicks things off with a blast of brown sugar. Once that initial wave subsides, we get espresso, dried fruit, and toasted oak. Delicious. The long finish is warming (as expected) with notes of sweet oak, citrus, and a touch of spearmint.
A bruiser of a whiskey! If you’ve ever tasted Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, you don’t need a review to tell you to buy it again. If you’re a newbie, don’t hesitate to reach for your wallet.
Thanks to Heaven Hill for the samples. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.