Heaven Hill Logo

Hey there whiskey fans, we've moved. Everything you used to find on the Bardstown Whiskey Society site you'll now find here on our newly launched website. Head on in to see our new home.

verify with facebook

Heaven Hill Distillery. Bardstown, KY © 2020
Think Wisely. Drink Wisely. ®

image

Parker's Heritage Collection

Each year as part of the Parker's Heritage Collection, we select a special whiskey to be released in the name of our late Master Distiller Parker Beam. The barrels selected for this series include Bourbon, Rye, and Wheat Whiskeys, among others, and are some of the finest and most diverse American Whiskeys ever produced. They are a fitting tribute to the expertise of Parker Beam.

Proof: Varies by Release
Age: Varies by Release

Learn More about the Current Edition

The 14th edition of Parker's Heritage Collection features Heaven Hill’s traditional rye Bourbon mashbill, aged in specialty barrels that were charred for a full minute and a half, as opposed to our traditional 40 seconds. These "Level 5" barrels were aged for a full 10 years, where the heavier char allowed the Bourbon to penetrate further into the barrel, bringing forth caramel and maple sweetness. These 102 barrels were aged on the sixth floor of rickhouse Y, and developed a pleasant smokiness after 40 Kentucky seasons of maturation. It is bottled without chill filtration at 120 proof.

about hero

14th Edition Tasting Notes

  • Color: Deep copper
  • Nose: Balanced and fruit forward.
  • Taste: Smooth, rich marmalade. Sweet but not cloying.
  • Finish: Very long & warm. Cloves & cinnamon linger.

Innovating the Future of American Whiskey

“We have the original email to the cooperage,” says Chris Briney, Director of New Product Development. “I found a message to Independent Stave Company from Craig Beam, who was Parker’s son and also a Master Distiller at Heaven Hill. It was from February 2008, and the subject line was just ‘Heavy Char.’ It said something like ‘Hey Jimmy - following up on that conversation we had with my dad last week. I’d like to place an order for custom Level #5. Blast them for a full 1 min. & 30 seconds.’” Briney pauses and smiles. “And then he wrote, ‘And could you be sure to mark them so they don’t get mixed up with our regular barrels? Don’t want to lose them!” In the world of premium Bourbon, exciting releases like these don’t come from this year’s most cutting-edge technology. But rather, for something like Parker’s Heritage Collection 14th Edition, they can be more than a decade in the making. “Bourbon has always been a long game. It’s our job to be leaders in thinking about what our fans are going to enjoy 8, 10, 15 years from now.” When is it time to share these with the community? Briney says, “With projects like this, the challenge is always: has it been long enough? We sample these experiments many times over their life cycle, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, sometimes yearly. We knew this whiskey was really good, and the timing was right to put it into play now as it passed the ten year mark.” Parker’s Heritage Collection is Heaven Hill’s hallmark lineup of exploration in premium innovation. “We are both nurturing the future and protecting heritage and honoring the past. We are in a special position with our large aging stock and having produced five unique mashbills. We have the capacity to do the experimental stuff without compromising the consistent quality of the offerings that got us here.” Briney laughs. “You just have to be really patient when you work on whiskey innovation projects. And really organized. Thank goodness for calendar reminders.”

Parker’s Heritage Collection is Heaven Hill’s hallmark lineup of exploration in premium innovation. “We are both nurturing the future and protecting heritage and honoring the past. We are in a special position with our large aging stock and having produced five unique mashbills. We have the capacity to do the experimental stuff without compromising the consistent quality of the offerings that got us here.” Briney laughs. “You just have to be really patient when you work on whiskey innovation projects. And really organized. Thank goodness for calendar reminders.”

ECTB

Parker Beam’s entire life was influenced by and dedicated to the making of good Bourbon. He did not seek out celebrity status but was chased down by it. And he always remained humble. He was known for saying “I don’t know about all those fancy taste descriptors... but I do know what I like.
And that is good whiskey.”

Chris Briney


The Different Levels of Barrel Char

Barrels are charred for specific lengths of time to create the desirable aromatic compounds and chemical changes that occur when intense heat hits the oak. Click on the staves below to learn more about each level:

Barrel Char

Char Level 1 15 seconds

This short char time leads to a lot of interaction between the liquid and the natural tannins present in American white oak. This style is not used by whiskey distilleries for long-term aging, but sometimes they become finishing barrels. Most often, they're used for beer and wine production.

Barrel Char

Char Level 2 30 seconds

Barrels charred for shorter amounts of time tend to show more fruit esters and lactones, which provide woody, coconut qualities. Level 2 barrels are typically not used for aging whiskey, as they haven’t had enough heat exposure to break down the oak’s hemicellulose into the delicious wood sugars that lend caramel and toffee flavors.

Barrel Char

Char Level 3 40 seconds

This is the standard barrel Heaven Hill Distillery uses to age our whiskey portfolio, providing the perfect balance between spice, sweetness, smoke, and flavorful vanillins. The black char layer on top acts as a natural charcoal filter, removing undesirable compounds, while the caramelized "red layer" underneath infuses the spirit with rich, varied aromatics and dark color.

Barrel Char

Char Level 4 50-60 seconds

This is a commonly used barrel that's also known as "alligator char," due to the cracked, shiny pattern that emerges from longer exposure to the flame. These barrels provide strong vanilla flavor as well as an increased presence of phenolic compounds, the aromatics that characterize wood smoke.

Barrel Char

Char Level 5 90 seconds

Barrels charred this long are not normally offered by cooperages, and ours were specially crafted for this edition of the Parker’s Heritage Collection. They feature deep fissures that occur when the heat causes the wood to peel away from the barrel. These cracks allow the liquid to easily move back and forth into the staves, providing even more interaction with both caramelized and uncharred oak.


Parker's Heritage Collection Editions

14th edition

2020 14th Edition

Heavy Char BourbonProof: 105

13th edition

2019 13th Edition »

Heavy Char Rye WhiskeyProof: 105

12th edition

2018 12th Edition »

Orange Curaçao FinishProof: 110

11th edition

2017 11th Edition

11 Year-Old Single Barrel Proof: 122

10th edition

2016 10th Edition

24 Year-Old
Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon Proof: 100

9th edition

2015 9th Edition

Malt Whiskey Proof: 108

8th edition

2014 8th Edition

Original Batch
Wheat Whiskey Proof: 127.4, 126.8

7th edition

2013 7th Edition

Promise of Hope Proof: 96

6th edition

2012 6th Edition

Blend of Mashbills Proof: 131.6, 133.2, 137.9, 139.4

5th edition

2011 5th Edition

Cognac Finish Proof: 100

4th edition

2010 4th Edition

Wheated Bourbon Proof: 127.8, 124.2

3rd edition

2009 3rd Edition

Golden Anniversary Proof: 100

2nd edition

2008 2nd Edition

27-Year-Old Proof: 96

1st edition

2007 1st Edition

Cask Strength Proof: 122.6, 127.4, 129.6


about hero

Explore the 12th Edition of Parkers Heritage Collection

Follow the journey from Kentucky to France as we produce one of our boldest releases to date.

LEARN MORE

Brand Awards & Accolades

Discover Our American Whiskey

bottles

You've heard of Evan, Elijah, and Larceny. Now discover our entire American Whiskey portfolio.

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more?

Subscribe to the Heaven Hill Distillery newsletter for more in-depth American Whiskey knowledge.