Parker’s Heritage Collection Bourbon: 65.8% abv
Is it a cask strength bourbon? Yes, yes it is. This tips the scale as our highest abv review to date, at about 66%. The difference between this and 151 rum is that you can actually do something with this, even at such a high alcohol content. So what are we really comparing this bad boy against? Well, if you were looking for other cask strength bourbons, we would first point you to Booker’s. So how does this compare to Booker’s? And how is it as a single whiskey.
On the nose, you get some classic bourbon notes, with a large burn to it. The caramel, large oakiness, vanilla, and spiciness is all there. It can be said though, that a strong impression of alcohol is in the nose. Just plain alcohol. After a substantial amount of water, it stops melting your face off, and gives you some more complex, enjoyable notes of hazelnut, powdered sugar, wheat, rye, toffee, chocolate, and light chocolate. With any cask strength whiskeys, we always obligate ourselves to try them before adding water, so as you know the spirit in its natural state.
The arrival is pretty simple, but gives off the standards notes of caramel, vanilla, and molasses. After adding water, this bourbon really changes. On the arrival anyway, you can start to experience some peppery notes and cinnamon. Impressions of the body include wheat, rye, caramel, vanilla, ginger, and molasses. To really get a good impression of this whiskey, water is almost entirely a necessity. You simply won’t get the complexities without it. In the finish, there is a nice variety of flavors, including wheat, semi-sweet chocolate, raspberry, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, black pepper, oak, and large grain flavors. It’s a pretty powerful whiskey, even with several teaspoons of water to it.
To conclude about this Parker’s, we’d like to just say a few things. This bourbon is a pretty penny, so do your research before buying it. It also isn’t for everybody. We got the impression that it was trying to be a rye whiskey with all of the spiciness, but it is certainly good. It presents some unique flavors that you wouldn’t always expect from your bourbon, and it tastes pure and like any quality whiskey would. There’s a lot of technical jargon on this bourbon that I don’t care to get into. So how does it compare to Booker’s? To be honest, it really doesn’t. It just doesn’t hold the complexity, and for the price you would hope it did. All the same, it’s a wonderful spirit, and we enjoyed trying it. As a quick note, you might notice this review was done “on location”. It should also be mentioned that we did not buy the Parker’s, so to the person who did buy it, we thank you and love you as a friend and a mentor. Cheers.