This morning I went to the Heaven Hill facilities in Bardstown to watch them barrel their 5,500,000th barrel of whiskey. It was a good event and I enjoyed their ceremony. After the ceremnoy, I was invited back to the Heritage Center by Lynn Grant in order to try the William Heavenhill 225 months (18 years 9 months) old product they are selling only in the Heritage Center at a cost of $500.00 a bottle. I found this to be a very good product. It is barrel proof at, if I am remembering correctly 127.6 proof. It has some very nice fruit notes at first but with a few drops of water to bring it down to a drinkable proof, it opens up into fruit (cherries or other dark fruit) with sweet spices (cloves and cinnamon) with caramel and chocolate coming out as it breaths. The taste was slightly fruity but with big caramel sweetness leading into a dry oak finish. I enjoyed it quite a bit and if I ever win the lottery, I would purchase a bottle.
Then she let me try the new Parker's Heritage Collection 27 years old and bottled at 90 some odd proof. I was expecting not to like this because of the extreme age. I thought it would be nothing but wood. The nose betrayed this conception because there were other aromas such as caramel, a bit of ripe apricot and leather as well as oak. Tasting it was also the same - sweet caramel and a bit of spice with oak wood that was still stronger than I like, but not astringent and unpleasant. A little water brought out a little more caramel and maybe a hint of chocolate but still strong in wood. I don't think I will be tempted to purchase a bottle, but I am glad for the chance to try it.
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873