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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary

After teasing you a bit last month, I finally got to cracking open my bottle of Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary. You don't want to rush these things.

Parker does like the higher, drier whiskeys, but this one's got some sweet to it. There's cotton candy, maple, vanilla, and corn in the nose, and some heat, too, of course; it's set at 100 proof, you're going to get some vapors. The first sip's a shock: you get the set of the older whiskeys right up front, spreading quickly and squeezing up your tongue -- but just as quickly behind it comes a rush of sweet corn heat, oak spice. The second sip expands a bit, without that first shock, and that lean, muscular, macho feel that typifies some of the best of the Evan Williams Single Barrels makes itself evident.

By the third sip I'm getting deeper into this one, shaking hands, making friends. My tongue's warm now, not feeling beaten, and the roof of my mouth seems to be stretching to contain all this whiskey. There's some anise showing up now, and a bit of soft mint, like a butter mint. There's more wood coming through, but it's still not harsh. It's big, really big, but smooth, and it pulls at me to have more. I'm picking up some pepper now; the younger whiskeys come through and keep this a lot fresher than it could be if Parker had leaned too heavily on the older whiskeys. This makes me remember why I prefer the Elijah Craig 12 over the 18.

Oh, my. I'm not big on using great bourbons like this in cocktails, and I doubt I ever will do that. I don't think it would create any useful synergies. But I could see one cube of ice, a cool shot of water, a fresh taste of branch might be nice with this. Nothing more. Oh...a nice touch of mint on the end. Thanks, Parker.


sam k said...

Glad you've had a chance to dissect this one in a less raucous environment than the last party we both attended, where it was the obvious hit of the evening (right, Joan?).

I thought this was one of the best domestic whiskeys I've ever wrapped my lips around, and was pleased to see that, though it's still expensive, the boys at Heaven Hill have made it more affordable than last year's offering.

Now, what are the chances I'll see a bottle for sale anywhere in the Keystone State?

Lew Bryson said...

You're kidding about that last bit, right? Why would The State Store System want to create a listing for a limited offering of bourbon?

sam k said...

Heck, my local LCB outlet has five empty slots year-round for BT's Antique Collection, which appear in single-digit quantities for about two days in the fall. They KNOW how to sell specialty bourbon, alright!