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

  • Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
    Heaven Hill Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished Bourbon Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com

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.

From Around the Web...
Raise a glass in the nation’s capital this weekend at one of these preeminent bars…
From Roosevelt’s Mint Juleps to Reagan's Orange Blossoms, these drinks have calmed the...
Named after a mythic dragon, the golden spirit is a contemporary take on a legendary liquor…
Ease into the new year and a new you with lighter spirits…
Raising more than $146 million to date for children, the event this year could break the bank…
Located in the hotel’s lobby, the Speyside distillery’s transient tasting room will last five days…
This spirit celebrates the birthday of one of the forefathers of bourbon…
Michter’s new limited-edition release is a blend of aged bourbons and ryes…
Only 898 bottles of this rare blended Scotch were made…
Photo by Beam Suntory
Bowmore releases the last bottles of this special dram…