BARDSTOWN, KY–Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the country’s largest independent family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer, announces the September release of the fourth edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, a limited annual series of rare, aged American Whiskeys that pays tribute to 6th Generation Master Distiller Parker Beam. The fourth release is a cask-strength, non-chill filtered wheated Bourbon, meaning it uses soft winter wheat instead of rye as the “small grain” to produce a less spicy, rounder Bourbon.
This year’s release of Parker’s Heritage Collection follows last year’s “Golden Anniversary” Bourbon edition, which captured the “American Whiskey of the Year” award from Malt Advocate Magazine, in addition to being named “World’s Best New Release” in Whisky Magazine’s annual 2010 World Whiskey Awards. The 2009 release, a 27-year-old Bourbon, was the first American Whiskey to ever win “Best of Show, Brown Spirits” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The new release marks the first in the Parker’s Heritage Collection to depart from the traditional Heaven Hill rye-based Bourbon mashbill. Instead of the more commonly used corn/malted barley/rye recipe, the newest edition uses corn, malted barley and Kentucky winter wheat. This recipe was first used at Heaven Hill in the spring of 1999, after the company acquired the wheated Old Fitzgerald line of Bourbons. This new bottling of Parker’s Heritage Collection will mark the first release of Heaven Hill made, extra-aged wheated Bourbon. And it will delight whiskey connoisseurs because not only is it non-chill filtered, but it also is being released in two very small batch dumps at barrel proof. And like the previous three editions, it is being released in very limited quantities–only 52 barrels, kept in high storage in open rick warehouses, were dumped for this edition, yielding approximately 4,800 bottles for the United States and limited international distribution.
And in what will be welcome news in still-unsettled economic times, the fourth release, at $79.99, is priced considerably lower than previous releases, which carried an average national retail price of $150 for last year’s “Golden Anniversary” bottling and $200 for the 27-year-old Bourbon released two years ago. Whiskey aficionados will also appreciate that the natural esters and fatty acids, which are by-products of whiskey distillation and aging, are not stripped away from the Bourbon in a process known as chill filtering, but are left in the whiskey to provide a fuller taste profile and richer mouthfeel.
Packaged in the same upscale 750ml bottle as the previous three editions, the Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheated Bourbon is available in a three bottle case that should start hitting retail shelves during September, nationally recognized as the start of the Bourbon season.
“I am genuinely excited to introduce a nicely aged, cask-strength wheated Bourbon for this next version of my Parker’s Heritage Collection,” noted Heaven Hill’s Parker Beam. “At this age and barrel-proof, is how a wheated Bourbon shows best…it has the caramel and smoke notes that only ten years in the top floors of our rickhouses can produce. And it has the long, smooth finish that I always look for in a Bourbon, with that softness that wheat brings to the recipe. I am very pleased that we now have wheated Bourbon that I feel has aged long enough to wear my name on the label.”