2019 Parker's Heritage Collection: Heavy Char Rye Whiskey

I’d like to thank Heaven Hill for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

We don’t get too many chances to purchase a bottle of Parker’s Heritage these days so it isn’t too surprising that I haven’t reviewed many of them. In fact there have been exactly three. 2011’s Barrel Finished which was my first barrel finished bourbon, 2013’s Promise of Hope of which I was able to buy two bottles, and 2014’s Wheat Whiskey which was the last time I’ve ever seen a limited edition bourbon release just sitting on a store shelf.

So it was with great interest when a package arrived from Heaven Hill shortly after this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection was announced. Unlike most companies, Heaven Hill sends things unannounced which makes each shipment a little like Christmas morning. I’m always excited to see what they sent this time. I mean, I do this because I’m a fan of bourbon so I think it is more than fair to get excited when the UPS or FedEx person brings me free whiskey. As you might have guessed by now this package contained a sample of this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection. This release marking the first Rye Whiskey in the line-up.

I’ll let Heaven Hill tell you what makes this special:

This 13th edition, however, further differentiates itself through its aging process. Instead of aging in Level 3 charred barrels, as is customary for most Heaven Hill products, this Rye Whiskey was aged in Level 5 charred barrels for eight years and nine months on the seventh floor of Rickhouse Y. Level 5 charred barrels are charred 50 seconds longer than the Level 3 barrels.

Additionally, this whiskey uses Heaven Hill’s usual rye whiskey mash bill of 51% rye, 35% corn, and 14% malted barley. And as with previous versions of the Parker’s Heritage Collection, a portion of the proceeds of each bottle will go to support ALS research and patient care.

Parker's Heritage Collection: Heavy Char Rye Whiskey

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me by Heaven Hill for review purposes. The suggested retail price is $149.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 8 years old, 52.5% ABV.

Nose: Caramel, hints of smoke, eucalyptus.

Mouth: Cinnamon Spice, mint leaves, vanilla, almond.

Finish: Warm and of medium length. Lingering cinnamon red hot candies, vanilla, almond.

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Thoughts: Nice, thick chewy mouthfeel with rich sweetness and strong flavors of fresh mint leaves. This is delicious. Flavors remind me of the bourbon / mint combo of a mint julep without the ice. Sadly they priced this out of my price range, but if it is in yours this is one to keep an eye out for. I like it a lot.


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Maker's Mark 101 Proof

I’d like to thank Maker's Mark for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.

When Maker’s Mark introduced a 101 proof version of their famed redheaded whiskey as a Travel Retail Exclusive last year, I was irrationally disappointed. For some reason I wanted it very badly (probably because I’ve been a fan of Maker’s Mark for as long as I’ve been a fan of bourbon). Eventually, I realized that this disappointment was a bit silly. I mean I can go down to any of the liquor stores in town and walk out with Maker’s Cask Strength any time I want. And if I want to, I can dilute that to 101 proof with just a little math and even less water.

But of course, rational is one thing that most bourbon lovers (myself included) are not. So when I saw that the 101 proof was going to be sold at the Maker’s Mark distillery starting this summer, I reached out to them to see if they might have a sample to spare. I mean, most of us might hesitate to take an international flight to get a $50 bottle of bourbon. But you should probably be taking a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery if you are in the area anyway. And as long as you are there anyway, I figured it might be nice to see if this would make a nice souvenir.

Maker’s Mark 101 proof

Nose: Nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee.

Mouth: Sweet, toffee, vanilla, baking spice.

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering nutmeg and caramel sweetness.

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Thoughts: If you are a Maker's fan, like I am, this is a must-have addition to your collection. It is sweet and loaded with baking spice flavors.

But ok, even if you are in the area, do you really need to make a trip to Maker’s? Can’t you just do what you mentioned above and dilute your Maker’s Cask Strength? Well I made a special trip to the liquor store so we can find out together.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength (diluted to 101 proof)

Nose: Not as sweet on the nose, still has nutmeg.

Mouth: Thinner mouthfeel, less sweet.

Finish: Warmer finish, not as baking spice forward.

Thoughts: Contrary to my initial suspicions, you can't just "water down" Maker's Cask Strength and get Maker's 101. There is a distinct difference when comparing head-to-head. Both in sweetness and mouthfeel. Both of these are very good bourbons and I will certainly be adding a stop at the Maker's Mark distillery to my next Kentucky trip to see about getting a couple more bottles. And even after that, I will still be drinking my Cask Strength with a small piece of ice (which honestly probably brings it down to lower than 101 proof). Honestly, they are both great and I hope to have both on hand as much as possible.


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1792 Aged Twelve Years

I’d like to thank Sazerac for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

This week I had my 14 year old nephew staying with me. If I ever get as excited about bourbon as he gets about Fortnite, someone take my booze away. It'd be time for a dry out. He’s a good kid, love him to death, but he does have an obsession with this one video game. And hey, I get it. He get’s to hang out with his friends and he gets to play a game as well. Honestly, from what I noticed, half the time they aren’t even playing the game, they were just chatting. So I guess it isn’t much different than being on the phone all the time when I was a kid in the early 80s, except they get to have more than one other person on the line.

So because I am exhausted from dealing with a hormonal and moody teenager for most of the last week, I am looking forward to keeping things nice and simple tonight. Unlike recent posts, we are just talking about one bourbon. And it is one I have been looking forward to ever since they announced it.

Sazerac has been putting out limited releases under the 1792 brand for a few years now. I think I have liked every one of them. I was a big fan of the Port Finish. The High Rye was pretty amazing. I damn near fell in love with the Full Proof. So when I saw the announcement of a 12 year old version of 1792, I was pretty stoked. The press release states that this is the same recipe as the flagship 1792 just older, obviously. Plus, the suggested price is right in line with the other limited 1792 bourbons at $50.

1792 Aged Twelve Years

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided by Sazerac for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $49.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 12 year age stated. 48.3% ABV

Nose: Cinnamon, cherry candy, eucalyptus, caramel.

Mouth: Lots of oak, caramel, cinnamon, hints of cherry Cola. Nice and spicy.

Finish: Spicy and medium length. lingering oak, caramel and cinnamon.

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Thoughts: I'm on record as not being a fan of super oaky bourbons. Even so, I don't mind this one. It won't be my first choice but I'd certainly be happy to have it on my shelf. Not that it would last there very long. My wife loves older, oaky Bourbons. As such, I'm turning this over to her.

Wife thoughts: OMG YUM! oh wait… I have to say more than that. This is nice and spicy with the oak that I love in older bourbons. And it is priced like the older bourbons of yesteryear too. Brings back memories of pre-hiatus Elijah Craig 18 year. Add a small ice cube and this is a nice sipper.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!