Parker’s Heritage Collection Double Barreled Bourbon Blend Review

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Rising from the ashes of Prohibition and into the midst of the Great Depression in Bardstown, KY, Heaven Hill Distillery has grown to be the largest independent family-owned and operated producer of distilled spirits products in the US, and the second-largest holder of bourbon whiskey inventory in the world. The distillery was set up in 1935 after a small group approached the Shapira family seeking capital investment to set up a distillery using their technical expertise. Following personal financial difficulties among the other members of the founding group, their interests in the “Old Heavenhill Springs” distillery were bought out by the Shapira family making the distillery a fully family-owned enterprise. With renewed purpose, the family kept on one of the original investors, James L. Beam as Master Distiller, and hired the best bourbon-producing talent they could find in their local Bardstown. Four years later in 1939, they released their first product, a 4-year-old Bottled in Bond bourbon under the Old Heaven Hill brand. The brand quickly became one of the top-selling bourbons in the State and cemented the distillery’s position as one of the top bourbon producers in Kentucky at the time. The name of the distillery originates from the family name of William Heavenhill who was an early pioneer farmer and owned the original property on which the distillery sat. When originally registering the company a clerical mistake resulted in the name becoming Heaven Hill as opposed to Heavenhill.
On November 7th 1996 a fire that started in one of the barrel ageing warehouses spread by strong winds, destroying almost the entire distillery and numerous ageing warehouses. Overall 90,000 barrels of whisky were lost and for the next 3 years the company was dependent on production capacity in neighbouring distilleries. In 1999 Heaven Hill completed the purchase of the Old Bernheim Distillery from Diageo in Louisville and once the distillery was adapted, the production and distillation end moved to Louisville whilst ageing, bottling, and shipping still occur on the original Bardstown site.
Today the modern iteration of the company, Heaven Hill Brands, has become a diversified supplier of whiskeys, liqueurs, vodkas, rums and other spirits. They own 57 rickhouses in Central KY and distribute over 48 brands including 17 bourbon labels such as Henry McKenna, Elijah Craig, Evan William, Larceny, Old Fitzgerald, and Rittenhouse rye to name a few. The distillery also has the largest number of Bottled in Bond whiskies on the market and is the only heritage distiller that features every major category of American whiskey in their 5 distinct mashbills producing traditional bourbon, wheated bourbon, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, and wheat whiskey. Under 7th Master Distiller (and fellow countryman) Conor O’Driscoll the distillery was on course to fill almost 400,000 barrels last year and with continued investment production capacity is growing every year to meet rising demand.

First Launched in 2007 to honour Heaven Hill’s late Master Distiller of over 50 years Parker Beam, Parker’s Heritage Collection is an annual limited release whiskey that, until his untimely passing in 2017, consisted of whiskey chosen by Parker himself from some of his favourite spots in the Heaven Hill’s many warehouses or from some of his favourite blends, styles, and barrel finishes. With the first edition introducing the bourbon world to Heaven Hill’s first barrel-proof bourbon, this annual release has since grown to be one of the most sought-after whiskies of the year and has featured a wide range of Heaven Hill stocks including malt whiskey, rye whiskey, wheated bourbon, high rye bourbon, as well as some very interesting barrel finished whiskies and blends.

In the fall of 2012, Parker was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable and progressive nervous system disease which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control over time. With his diagnosis announced publicly in early 2013, the focus of the Parker’s Heritage Collection shifted from being a unique whiskey experience for consumers to also becoming a platform for Parker to both advocate for those with ALS, raise much-needed funds for further research into the disease, and also directly improving the quality of life of those with the disease. As such, since the 2013 ‘Promise of Hope’ release, a part of the proceeds from the sales of each bottle sold has been going towards the US-based ALS association’s Parker’s Promise of Hope Fund. In the 7 years since the creation of the fund, Heaven Hill, their regional distributors, and local retailers have raised over $1 million toward ALS research and patient care.

Announced in November 2022, the 16th Edition of the Parker’s Heritage Collection is a Double Barreled blend of two bourbons. Having ended their 4 year run of whiskies finished in heavy charred casks, this edition consists of 67% 13 y.o. Kentucky straight bourbon, which has been double barreled for four weeks and then blended post ageing with 33% 15 y.o. Kentucky straight bourbon. According to the press release, the 13 y.o. bourbon, from barrels produced in December 2008, was aged on the 5th-7th floors of Rickhouse Q and then re-barreled into new American white oak barrels with a level three char for four weeks. Then, it was later blended with 15 y.o. bourbon from barrels produced in January 2007 and aged on the 2nd and 5th floors of Rickhouse II. The final blend is reported to have a unique, bold flavor profile balanced by the double barreled 13 y.o. bourbon bringing out even more oak and spice notes from the barrel, and the 15 y.o. bourbon rounding out the older aged mouthfeel. The mashbill for this edition was Heaven Hill’s traditional bourbon mashbill of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. The whiskey was bottled barrel proof at 132.2 proof (66.1% abv) and bottled uncut without chill filtration to preserve the flavours.

Vital Stats:

Name: Parker’s Heritage Collection – Double Barreled Blend of KY Straight Bourbon
Age: 13 y.o. (includes 15 y.o. stocks)
Proof: 132.2 proof (66.1% abv)
Type: Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
Mashbill: 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley
Producer: Heaven Hill Distillery, KY
Glassware: Glencairn


Nose: The nose opens with cacoa notes yeilding to soft red and black fruits stewed in dark brown sugar. As you nose deeper, the barrel notes continue to develop with deep chocolate and earthy baking spices such as cloves and toasted almonds, the syrup notes gain a lovely butterscotch edge, and the fruit notes become increasingly complex, adding depth and nuance.

Palate: This whiskey hits the palate with a bang, exploding with bold and vibrant tart fruit notes, charred tannic oak, and a fiery kick of earthy herbaceous rye. These are accompanied by dark caramel notes, deep dark chocolate, and earthy baking spices, which add further depth and complexity. Once the initial burst of flavours fades, notes of vanilla, heavily toasted almonds, and black fruits remain alongside smoky notes of barrel char, dark chocolate, and near-burnt caramel.

Finish: The finish is long and complex, opening with lingering heat, a burst of near-burnt caramel notes, dark chocolate, and a hint of dried fruits. The oak tannins are prominent and leave a dry sensation on the tongue and cheeks, leading to a slightly bitter but pleasant aftertaste of cacao edged by notes of caramel, fruits, and toasted nuts.


This bourbon is not for the faint of heart! Aged 13 years old and bottled at 132.2 proof, it packs a punch, and the initial sip is a whirlwind of sweet fruits, dark caramels, and tannic charred oak notes that wash across the mid-palate and coat the entire mouth with layers of flavor and spice. As you continue to sip, the heat drives these flavours, and the more delicate nuances shine through as your palate adjusts. By the third sip, the flavors reach their peak and are complex, layered and well balanced, making this a truly a unique drinking experience that gives the benefits of all three components as the aged stocks and double barrel finishing combines in a symphony of robust flavors and warming spices. With a few drops of water, the tannic heat is tamed, revealing sweeter caramels, brighter fruits, and more vanilla. However, the oak-forward edge of chocolate, baking spices, rye heat, and toasted almonds still remains present.

The annual Parker’s Heritage Collection release is a personal highlight of Heaven Hill’s limited releases. Every year the Heaven Hill team work hard to release an innovative and captivating whiskey that embodies the legacy of Parker Beam, reflects his passion for producing great whiskies, and offers fans a unique and unparalleled experience outside of what’s typically available from the distillery. Furthermore, the added satisfaction of supporting a noble cause that was close to Parker’s heart makes these releases all the more sweet, and from the releases I’ve tasted to date they do a great job in honouring the legendary Master Distiller.

Try or Buy?

This is robust, it’s complex, and offers Heaven Hill fans a unique opportunity to taste their bourbon whiskey with a unique finish aswell as at a blend of ages I’ve never tasted before. With a suggested retail price of $174.99, it’s above my ‘buy now!’ $100 threshold, however, it’s worth remembering that each bottle sold has a direct positive impact on someone’s quality of life. Therefore, I’d say if you can find this for under $200, and it’s within your budget, seriously consider it.


Before you go…

Before you go…

Before you go…

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