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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Tasting: Parker’s Heritage Collection 10-year-old Bourbon Finished in Cognac Casks

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample the latest special release from Heaven Hill.

Parker's Heritage Collection has been around for five years now. It is always something interesting and worth looking for if you have even the slightest interest in Bourbon.

The fifth edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, a limited annual series of aged American Whiskeys that pays tribute to sixth generation Master Distiller Parker Beam, is the first “wood-finished” Bourbon produced by Heaven Hill. The Bourbon is a collaboration between Parker Beam, the grand-nephew of Jim Beam who has practiced his craft at Heaven Hill for more than 50 years; and Alain Royer, sixth generation Cognac master blender and founder of A. de Fussigny Cognac. Royer is now working for the Cointreau family within the Renaud Cointreau group.

The 2011 Parker’s Heritage Collection whiskey is a 10-Year-Old Bourbon that had aged in high storage on the sixth floor of Heaven Hill's Rickhouse “V” in Bardstown.  In February 2010, 15 French Limousin Oak barrels that each held 350 liters (92.5 gallons) of 3-year-old Grande Champagne Cognac from the Frapin cellars were emptied, the barrels were then wrapped to keep them wet and leakproof, and three days later they were shipped to Kentucky.  When they arrived the oversized casks were filled with the aged Bourbon and transferred to the sixth floor of Rickhouse JJ, where they rested for six months to extract the delicate floral notes that permeated the Cognac barrels. On August 22, when Royer and Beam deemed them ready, these large Cognac barrels were dumped by hand, yielding 6,000 750 milliliter bottles of whiskey.

Parker’s Heritage Collection 10-year-old Bourbon Finished in Cognac Casks is bottled at 100 proof and is not chill-filtered prior to bottling. It pours a polished mahogany color with a slight hit of vanilla in the nose. The flavor is smooth and long with a peppery flourish at the finish. Serve this one neat to get the most of the barrel finishing. A perfect sipper for a fall evening or a special tailgating treat.

This whiskey retails for $80.