Parker’s Heritage Wheat Whiskey is historically significant because the barrels used to make this come from the first run (distillation) of whiskey that would become the Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey which was the first widely available wheat based whiskey on the market. The 2014 Parker’s Heritage is divided in to 2 different batches. The first one came out at 63.7% ABV and the second came out at 63.4% ABV which is the one I have here, but for a side by side of the two check out this post on Sku’s blog.
Another little tidbit about the barrels used for these bottlings is that they came from warehouse Y at Heaven Hill (not truly important) and have been stored at the top of the warehouse for 13 years. Which is important because the top of the warehouse is where the biggest fluctuations of temperature happen so the barrels expand and contract more often and to a greater degree. This moves the whiskey in and out of the wood both more often and at a greater depth. The Parker’s Heritage Wheat, in short, is a bottling of the cherry barrels of the original Bernheim Wheat Whiskey juice. In a way it’s like tasting whiskey history.
Parker’s Heritage Wheat Whiskey Review
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Mashbill: At least 51% wheat with the rest being corn and malt
Dark reddish caramel
Caramel and a dark complex fruit steamroll their way out of the glass, paving the way for notes of wood, spice, brown sugar and sweet grains. The dark fruit doesn’t just lead the charge, but also blends in with notes of cherries and dried strawberries coming and going and mixing with hints of vanilla frosting and butterscotch.
Wood takes a front seat here with caramel sitting shotgun. The same complex dark fruit from the nose is taking up the entire backseat and they’re towing a trailer full of complimentary notes like vanilla, soft sweet grains, cinnamon, nutmeg and a light citrus.
Rich sweetness fades to a long wood heavy journey with notes of dark fruit and spice.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Fantastic balance with everything moving together. Thick body that feels heavy and oily on the tongue with some burn, but it’s less than you’d expect from a 126.8 proof whiskey.
Very tasty and rich across the nose, palate and finish. The nose is thickly sweet and spicy with a woody backbone, the palate is sweet and woody with some rich dark fruit adding support and the finish is sweet and woody till the end. Being cask strength and non chill-filtered makes it even better and I simply love it.
*Disclosure: This bottle of Parker's Heritage Wheat Whiskey was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.