After my last review of a sub-$10.00 Very Old Barton 6-year bourbon, I had to go to the other extreme for a limited-release bourbon higher than top shelves. In 2013 Parker Beam and Heaven Hill released their seventh expression of Parker’s Heritage, this time a 10-year single barrel bourbon from Rickhouse EE, said to be Parker’s favorite. This 2013 edition includes a donation by Heaven Hill of $20.00 to the ALS Association for every bottle (with projections of $250,000 in total donations), in honor of Parker’s diagnosis with ALS. Plus, I had to review the seventh edition before the eight edition is released…
Bourbon: Parker’s Heritage Collection 7th Edition, Promise of Hope Single Barrel
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Age: 10 years
Proof: 96 proof
Cost: Expect to spend between $80.00 and $129.00 (I paid $129.99 at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, which charges more for everything)
More of a bright copper than amber.
There was more going on with this nose than I expected. It had a balance of caramel, vanilla, basil, oak and some slight earthy notes; overall this is a fantastic nose.
The taste starts with just a little caramel and pear sweetness, and moves to classic rye spice with more warmth than the proof might indicate, even with some bite on some sips. It feels a little thin compared to other high-shelf offerings, but it has absolutely great flavors. Don’t water this down; it’s a great bourbon to sip neat. On the other hand, the chill of a little ice tamed the dryness, and I think I’ll ice this down for my summer bourbon.
The finish continues with similar flavors and a little more oak for an overall dry finish, and maybe a hint of mint, for a medium-length, warm finish.
In addition to the VOB line, I’ve reviewed some other “value” bourbons lately. They’ve all had their qualities, but now I’m reminded of what bourbon can be. It’s rare to have a bourbon with balance like this seventh edition of Parker’s Heritage, and my pendulum is swinging back to thinking that I’m better off spending more and drinking better bourbon. Promise of Hope doesn’t rely on novelties, and since Heaven Hill bottled this one as single barrels, there’s no hiding or supplementing the characteristics of this bourbon. It’s a classic bourbon with refined balance. While Promise of Hope is undoubtedly priced too high (there are better bourbons for the price, and in a few of cases better bourbon for about 1/2 – 2/3 the price I paid, and that lowers the score on my scale), Promise of Hope is still a must-have for your collection.
Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale: 3.5
The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Wouldn’t even accept a free drink of it.
2 – Would gladly drink it if someone else was buying.
3 – Glad to include this in my bar.
4 – Excellent bourbon. Worth the price and I’m sure to always have it in my bar.
5 – Wow. I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.