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Parker’s Heritage Bourbon Finished in Orange Curacao Barrels

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Parker's Heritage Bourbon finished in orange curacao barrels

Parker’s Heritage Collection
12th Edition
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Finished in French orange curaçao barrels
Proof: 110

For this Parker’s Heritage Bourbon finished in orange curacao barrels, the folks at Heaven Hill Distillery began with 7-8 year old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Then it was finished for four months in barrels which once held French orange curaçao. The bourbon is non-chill filtered to preserve all of the flavors.

As with all recent Parker’s Heritage releases, a portion of the proceeds are donated to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research and patient care, in honor of Parker Beam. Parker Beam was master distiller at Heaven Hill (where he worked for over 50 years) and passed away due to ALS in 2017. This is only the second barrel finished bourbon of the series. The first was a Cognac finish in 2011.

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Tasting Notes

🛏 This bottle was opened in 2018, when the bourbon was released

👉🏻Nose: Bitter orange peel is quite noticeable, and there is also sweetness, anise and baking spices. The bourbon notes are detectable in the background but are pretty much smothered by the orange. Once my nose acclimates to it, I sense some caramel and leather. There’s some alcohol (and light lavender?) in the nose, too.
👉🏻Taste: The bitter orange peel still dominates, with plenty of sugary sweetness, and a bit of oak, sweet caramel and barrel char. There’s a full mouthfeel.
👉🏻Finish: Yup, the bitter orange is still there and hangs on for a surprisingly long time. The sweetness continues as well. Towards the end, the oak, char and astringency become more dominant but are subdued. It’s a long finish with a moderate burn.


I didn’t like the Parker’s Heritage Bourbon finished in orange curacao barrels at all when I first opened the bottle. The bitter orange was overpowering and smothered the bourbon flavors. As time has gone on, the flavors have mellowed a bit, but there is still no missing the bitter orange. I really have to be in the mood for this one, which I have to say, is not very often. I generally am not really a finished bourbon fan, and the ones that I like have much more subtle flavors that complement the bourbon without becoming dominant, as they do here. I’ve heard very mixed comments from others, so I’m interested to know what you thought of this one if you’ve had it. Stay safe you all! Cheers!🥃

Read about another unusual bourbon, the Heaven Hill Select Stock
“Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Used Coffee Barrel”

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