If you’ve been following me on twitter, you know I’ve been searching far and wide for this bottle ever since its release, but unfortunately couldn’t get my hands on it while in Kentucky. Ever since I’ve been back in Charleston, I’ve been calling (read: bugging) stores for release details. Today was my lucky day.
The 2014 Parker’s Heritage 8th Edition is a 13 year old, cask-strength, non-chill filtered, Kentucky straight wheat whiskey at 127.4 proof. The same whiskey bottled as Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, this juice is the original wheat whiskey batch produced by Heaven Hill in 2000.
The mash bill is 51% soft winter wheat, 39% corn and 10% malted barley, which makes for a nice marriage of wheat and corn profiles.
All of the soft aromas you’d expect from wheat shine through the nose. The oak notes are strong and beautiful, but not overpowering. Sweet vanilla comes through in the form of cake batter. The nose is subtle but rich. Despite clocking in at a hefty 63.7 ABV, I don’t get too much alcohol burn, but it’s presence is certainly there.
Toffee notes arrive on the palate. A faint trace of cinnamon hangs out like a secret service agent you don’t need to notice but do. The vanilla on the nose transposes beautifully onto the palate and cues a long finish.
Subtle pepper arrives as the finish approaches. The alcohol begins to show itself, creating a fairly dry finish that leaves a little to be desired, but is still enjoyable and encourages another sip.
Overall, this is a fantastic whiskey and is highly recommended but, for my tastes, adding water makes it even more enjoyable by balancing out some of the alcohol and letting the softer character shine. The next time around I’ll try adding a couple drops and let it rest for 15 minutes before diving in.