Distiller: Heaven Hill. ABV: 54% Age: 8 years. Mashbill: 65% malted barley, 35% corn. Price: $100 (MSRP, frequently marked up)
The 2015 Park Parker’s Heritage Collection Malt Whiskey from Heaven Hill is the ninth annual release in the PHC series, and it’s a bit of an oddball.
It drew some mixed opinions from bourbon lovers unused to malt whiskies, as it’s distilled from 65% malted barley and 35% corn. But as a lover of numerous American malt whiskies–and don’t let anyone out there tell you there aren’t good ones–I enjoyed this quite a bit.
It’s a rich coppery color in the glass–almost strawberry. The nose is hot at first, with stronger corn notes than I expected, then cinnamon and sandalwood. With water, a mint note emerges, then stewed pears and marshmallow fluff.
The palate is rich with oak and tons of spice, recalling Heaven Hill’s McKenna 10-year-old Bourbon. Salty butterscotch, then more of that mint. With water, I got a fragrant wood note–almost potpourri–that resembled, oddly enough, the Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood. Full, viscous mouthfeel, with Christmas spice, butter, and black pepper on the finish.
Cheers to Heaven Hill for throwing a curveball for a strike, and thanks to fletcher_whiskeydog for the sample and the beautiful photo! -BO