Parker’s Heritage Collection 27-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon - Review
by Jeff Hoyt
We were really looking forward to meeting a 27-year-old recently. But when we did, we didn’t take to her right away. After a while, though, she grew on us, and we ended up falling for her. Now we worry that she may be gone forever.
We’re referring, of course, to Parker’s Heritage Collection 27-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon. Parker Beam is the sixth-generation Beam to earn the title Master Distiller, having worked in the family spirits business since 1960. The Kentuckian was named for his grandfather, whose brother was James Beauregard Beam, better known as Jim Beam. He produces popular Bourbon brands including Evan Williams and Elijah Craig, and currently oversees more than 700,000 barrels of aging Kentucky Bourbon and American Whiskey, the second-largest supply in the world.
From that vast inventory, Beam hand-selected the first of this collection, which was bottled in 2007 after aging in oak barrels since 1996, and quickly sold out. We were lucky enough to enjoy the second of the series, which was aged in oak since 1981, the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. At 96 proof, the super-premium Bourbon did not seem to mellow with age, and we were initially put off by its strength (although we have enjoyed 100+ proof Bourbons neat). At first, we enjoyed its vanilla, toffee, and apricot flavor only when mixed, which seemed to be a waste of good whiskey. But before we knew it, we were relishing its deep complexity neat and on the rocks. Despite the lengthy barrel aging, the wood does not overwhelm the balanced beverage.
If you can find and afford a bottle, this whiskey will make a fine addition to any home bar. If not, the third edition is about to be released honoring Parker Beam’s half a century of Bourbon making. We’d be happy to raise a glass of Parker’s to Parker.
Price: $200 for 750 ml