Parker’s Heritage Double Barreled Blend Bourbon Review (2022)

By Richard Thomas

Rating: A-

Parker’s Heritage Double Barreled Blend (2022)
(Credit: Heaven Hill)

Often forgotten is that autumn ends not at the end of November, but on December 22. So it is that we are nearing the end of autumn proper, and with it the conclusion of the uber-hot season when so many of the most sought after bourbon releases come out. It’s a fitting time for the 16th installment of Parker’s Heritage to hit the shelves.

Having completed a run of whiskeys aged in ultra-charred barrels, Heaven Hill took a blender’s route with this edition. The core is a 13 year old bourbon that got the double new oak treatment, with four weeks spent in a second set of charred, new oak barrels. This was then married to a 15 year old bourbon, this latter whiskey having not received the double new oak maturation and constituting 1/3 of the total. The result was then bottled, as has been the case with Parker’s Heritage, at cask strength: 132.2 proof.

So, what Heaven Hill has given us this year is a thoroughly middle-aged bourbon, and one that leans pretty heavily on the vanilla flavor coming from new oak barrel aging, but without diving as deeply into it as most of the double new oak bourbons (such as Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and Michter’s Toasted Barrel).

The Bourbon
The coloring for this pour is a reddened amber, neither as dark or as brown as one might expect from a middle-aged bourbon bottled at such high strength. My take on the nose is a layer of hazy nuttiness atop a base of caramel and butterscotch. The palate here is a richly sweet one. The core of deep vanilla and brown sugar is accented with cocoa, with modest, off-center notes of earthy-style tea tannin and ginger. The flavor turns somewhat spicier and more peppery on the back end. In my opinion, the main deficit of this bourbon is its lack of a distinguished finish, which I found rather light an indistinct.

The Price
The official price for this bottle is $179.99, with a portion of the proceeds going to support ALS research in honor of Parker Beam. To date, over $1 million has gone from Parker’s Heritage profits to ALS research donations.

This makes the mark-ups on the secondary market and especially by retailers all the more outrageous. Although I am an advocate for allowing prices to rise to stabilize the market, the price charged by online retailers for the preceding 15th edition is currently between $800 and $1,500 per bottle. None of that mark-up goes back to Heaven Hill.

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