Sunday, July 27, 2014

Parker's Heritage Collection: A Blend of Mashbills

Parkers 6th Blend of Mashbills 137.9 proof.

Not the right proof, you get the idea
Nose: Intensely alcoholic (obviously). Wandering notes similar to the wheated HH stuff, as well as some Elijah Craig character. Wet leather, tobacco (thanks Matt), yeasty bread, fresh char all complemented by a lot of sugar. Some of the elements that I don’t like in HH stuff is missing. The deep barrelhouse character in Elijah Craig 12+ is not fully apparent.

Taste: Small sips! This product is tough. A range of notes occur in succession: an immediate earthy pepper is rapidly followed by an herbal honey and finally a combination of cinnamon rye, toasted oak, and mouth-tingling ethanol sweep through. The opportunity for off notes is limited, everything blown out by that tidal wave of ethanol.

Finish: There’s nothing to even speculate about the four grain whiskey in the finish. It’s a pretty traditional rye/vanilla/oak finish with appropriate balance and light to moderate duration.

Balance: In the two weeks or so I’ve had this open the PHC6 has opened up to me a little bit, but it still has some idiosyncrasies I can’t get past. 68% ABV is just too high to drink with a casual attitude. It has to be approached with water or academically. We can all remember that first big step from 40% ABV to 50% or 107 proof. We can all remember the next step to regular barrel proof (110, 120), but this 137 just seems a bridge too far.

Shifting from what I don’t like to what I do, the palate of this product is fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a product that jumps between flavors I’d attribute to wheat or rye. I don’t know what really causes these flavors, but it fits into the narrative of what to expect from wheat.

Grade: B

Would I buy again: I’d love to see a 100,107,110 proof expression of a blended mashbill product yes. 137 proof? No.