Best of the Best 2012: Spirits: Heaven Hill Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished Bourbon

Although we tend to think of bourbon as robust and Cognac as more refined, these two brown spirits share many traits. Their production is heavily regulated; both are aged in oak barrels; and each has an underlying sweetness—bourbon from its corn mash and Cognac from its grape wine. Thus, sixth-generation master distiller Parker Beam, a great-nephew of Jim Beam, had good reason to join forces with sixth-generation master distiller Alain Royer—founder of A. de Fussigny Cognac and now working with the Cointreau family—to create something extraordinary together. Beam hand-selected bourbons that he had been barrel-aging for 10 years in Bardstown, Ky., and wanted to finish (extra age) them in Cognac barrels. Royer responded by acquiring 15 French-oak Limousin barrels that had previously contained 3-year-old Grande Champagne Cognac. Beam poured his bourbon into Royer’s barrels and let the spirits continue to mature in the same Kentucky warehouse for an additional six months. The result is Heaven Hill Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished Bourbon (www.heavenhill.com, $80). Non-chill-filtered and bottled at 100 proof, this American whiskey is like no other, full of honeyed sweetness and fruity oak. There was just enough spirit to fill 6,000 bottles of this newest member of the limited Parker’s Heritage Collection.

The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…
Photo by Jeff Elkins
The cigar combines an Ecuadoran wrapper with Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos…
A special barrel of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon stunned the wine world when it sold for $260,000...
Only 250 cases of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch will be released…
Worldwide talents are leaving their marks at a Provençal winery.
FREE PREVIEW: The Masseto 2011 Toscana is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The Mortlach 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best...
The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…