Eight years ago, Heaven Hill distillery launched a yearly release called Parker’s Heritage Collection (named after Master Distiller Parker Beam), which offers a look into the best of their production at different ages and with different mash bills (though usually a bourbon).
In 2014 they presented a 13 years old cask strength wheat whiskey, taken from the first batch of Bernheim Original ever produced in September 2000. Being a straight wheat whiskey, it uses at least 51% of soft winter wheat in its recipe, alongside 39% corn and 10% barley.
Parker’s Heritage Wheat whiskey 13 yo 2000 (63,7%, OB 2014, 8th edition)
Nose: really nice, despite the alcohol. Big notes of brown sugar and maple syrup, as well as a lot of vanilla and honey. Biscuity notes too. A bit of char underneath, as well as some spices like cinnamon and clove. Touches of fragrant oak.
Mouth: buttery and sweet at first, but it quickly becomes spicy and dry. After all not as sweet as the nose suggested. Bready notes. Loads of burnt sugar and vanilla. Menthol. Plenty of oak, giving it a slightly acidic and bitter feel. Cinnamon and pepper.
Finish: very long, bittersweet and fairly oaky. Maple syrup and smoky oak. A few drops of water really help this whiskey, especially towards the end.
This is a big, bold wheat whiskey that takes some fiddling with water to get the most of it. Despite its impressive strength, there’s a certain smoothness and roundness to it as well. Originally around $ 90 in the US (a no-brainer) but a lot more on this side of the ocean: up to € 250. It’s great but maybe not that great. Thanks, Angelo!