Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
What the Distillery Says:
For Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the fall release of the annual Parker’s Heritage Collection bottling is always a labor of love, but this year’s release could more accurately be described as a labor for love.
Heaven Hill Master Distiller Emeritus Parker Beam, who has recently been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and for whom the acclaimed series is named, has selected special barrels of Bourbon for this year’s edition that mirror his own personal preference for age, proof and warehouse location. Called the “Promise of Hope” bottling, this seventh in the acclaimed series will feature a remarkable cause-related component—for each bottle of the “Promise of Hope” edition sold, Heaven Hill will contribute $20 to the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund, a fund established through the ALS Association in honor of the legendary 6th Generation Master Distiller (www.alsa.org/ParkerBeamPromiseofHope). Heaven Hill is estimating the overall contribution to the Promise of Hope Fund will be in excess of $250,000.
In addition to being the first cause-related bottling in the Parker’s Heritage Collection series, the Promise of Hope bottling will mark the first time that a single barrel American Whiskey has been offered in the collection. Parker Beam, a past recipient of Whisky Advocate’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a charter member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame who is in his 53rd year at Heaven Hill, painstakingly sampled and selected Bourbon barrels that met his own personal “wish list” criteria. From among Heaven Hill’s nearly one million barrels in storage, Parker selected approximately 100 barrels of ten-year-old rye-based Bourbon from one of his favorite warehouses, the tiered 80-year-old Rickhouse EE in Deatsville, where they sat in high storage for 40 seasons. Each of the chosen barrels was dumped and bottled, with no chill-filtering, in 750ml bottles at Parker’s preferred bottling proof of 96° (48% alcohol/volume). The 7th Edition Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope will be available on select retail shelves and at fine bars and restaurants nationwide starting in mid-September at an average retail price of $90 for the 750ml bottle.
This year’s release of Parker’s Heritage Collection promises to be a worthy successor to the previous six releases, which, having won multiple awards from Whisky Advocate Magazine (formerly Malt Advocate Magazine), Whisky Magazine and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, stand as some of the most critically lauded American Whiskeys in recent memory. Past bottlings have won awards ranging from “Best North American Whiskey” to “American Whiskey of the Year” to “Best of Show, Brown Spirits.”
Packaged in the same upscale 750ml bottle as the previous six editions, the Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope bottling is part of a number of cause-related efforts Heaven Hill and Parker Beam have recently taken on to help in the fight against ALS, a neurological disease which affects approximately 30,000 Americans at any time. Also part of this effort is the recently announced Master Distillers’ Unity, a special crystal two bottle set of Bourbon from all the major Kentucky heritage distilleries blended together which will be offered at the Bonham’s Whisky, Cognac and Rare Spirits auction in New York City on October 13th. All proceeds from the auction of this one-time bottling will also go toward the Promise of Hope Fund.
“I, my wife Linda, my son Craig and all my family are honored and enthusiastic about our efforts toward helping those affected by ALS”, stated Parker Beam, “and the new Promise of Hope edition of my Parker’s Heritage Collection represents a great way for Bourbon fans and even novices to enjoy a great single barrel Bourbon while helping make a real difference in the fight against ALS. I enjoyed developing the profile and selecting these barrels that represent ‘my favorite things’ in a Bourbon, and I feel sure that anyone who purchases a bottle will get an outstanding single barrel Bourbon and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping with this worthy cause.”
The 2013 Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope is a very limited release, as all of the previous six editions have been, but Heaven Hill will be releasing more cases than in the past to maximize fund raising. And as always, once these are shipped from Bardstown, no more will be available.
What Elizabeth Says:
Nose: Melon with beads of honey dripping onto oak.
Palate: Sharp and deadly golden fruit.
Finish: Smooth and more subtle.
Comments: It is sharp but strangely addictive. You hope to keep on sipping it.
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says:
Nose: Pipe tobacco, old leather, caramel aples, dusty old books like in a boarded up library. Musty right after opening the bottle. The nose opens up as it sits.
Palate: Caramels, vanilla cream, viscous and mouth coating. Nice wood back bone.
Finish: Hot, in your face, and no nonsense. A quick flash then a long fade to oak with vanilla hints peaking around the corners.
Comments: This is supposedly “how Parker likes his bourbon” in that the selection comes right from his sweet spot in terms of age, location, proof etc. This isn’t changing anybody’s religion on drink but it’s damn good. It is very “bourbon-y” in all the right ways. I could only drink this for the rest of my days and be perfectly content. Just like eating where the locals do, I guess tailing the Master Distiller to his sweet spot pays dividends too.
Rating: Must Try