Parker’s Heritage Collection: Promise of Hope – Review #50

Promise of Hope Background

Promise of HopePromise of Hope is Heaven Hill’s latest special release in the Parker’s Heritage Collection. The series is usually a little unique, but for its 7th Edition in 2013 we have a regular single barrel Bourbon. The series is named after Parker Beam, who has been at Heaven Hill for over 50 years. The release comes from 100 barrels from Parker’s preferred EE warehouse. This bottle represents Parker’s ideal expression of 10 year old Bourbon. Recently Parker Beam was diagnosed with ALS. The Promise of Hope release includes a $20 donation to a fund through the ALS Association

Details

10 Years old. Bottled at 48%. Mash of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley. Paid $99

Aroma

Caramel, rich sweetness. Vanilla, some toffee and char. A little fruity. Smells pretty great.

Flavor

Nice richness. Char flavors along roasted coffee. Burnt sugars with caramel and nice vanilla. Sweetness and pleasant oak profile. Minty. Nice complexity with flavors and well put together.

Overall

Promise of Hope is a great example of a standard Bourbon. Lots of complexity and interesting things going on here with roasted flavors, balanced sweetness, and a little rye coming through. Promise of Hope is an interesting Bourbon to review. I really like this Bourbon, but similarities to other Heaven Hill Bourbons are apparent. Evan Williams Single Barrel and Henry McKenna Single Barrel stand up well to Promise of Hope. Both those bottles are also 10 years old and are great values and about 1/3 the cost. In a bubble, I would give Promise of Hope a very high rating, but I feel I can get pretty close to this profile with Evan Williams Single Barrel and Henry McKenna Single Barrel. If money was no object, I’d probably buy as much Promise of Hope as I could find, but since that’s not the case, I’ll be pretty happy with those two other Heaven Hill offerings. If you find a bottle out there, I think it’s worth picking up to check it out. If you enjoy those two Heaven Hill offerings, then I would think you would really like Promise of Hope. I really like it and if I find another bottle, I’ll probably grab it. If, however, you’re watching your booze budget and/or don’t feel like hunting for special bottles, one of those two other Heaven Hill products are great options.

Recommendation

Buy Again – 4.0 out of 5.0 (My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)

Buying Options and Further Research

The mentioned McKenna Single Barrel and Evan Williams Single Barrel is the best here for alternatives. This is a special release, so it’s not easy or fair to compare it with others since Promise of Hope doesn’t have many peers.

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Dickel 9 Year Old Hand Selected Barrel – Review #49

Background

Dickel Hand Selected Barrel 9 BottleGeorge Dickel 9 Year Hand Selected Barrel is one of two special bottlings from George Dickel. The selection line includes a 9 and 14 year bottled at 103 and 106-proof. The idea is this whiskey is sold to stores willing to purchase an entire barrel. So, it would seem they’re sort of rare, although if you do find a host store you’ll likely find plenty of bottles. This of course makes this a single barrel product and each store’s selection will vary slightly.

The Dickel 9 Hand Selected Barrels are filtered in the Lincoln County Process style with charcoal. Dickel uses 13-foot vats filled with charcol. Prior to filling, Dickel chills the whiskey so it’s also chill filtered. The Lincoln County Process is shared by the other major Tennesee producer Jack Daniel’s. The goal is to give the whiskey a “smoothness” and tends to also lend a distinct flavor. Another benefit is it should also shorten the aging time as some of the volatile compounds will be stripped away that normally take time to dissipate. As a result of this process this is not Bourbon, but Tennessee whiskey.

Details

9 Years Old. Bottled at 103-proof. Thought to be  84% corn, 8% rye, and 8%. Purchase price $45.

Aroma

Cherry, solvent-like. Smoky maple. Barrel char. Sweet, sweet. Mustard. Spices

Flavor

Syrupy. Tart. Sweet. Kind of cloying. Some heat. I like to add some water. Smoked maple keeps coming to me. Barrel char is prominent. Fruity.

Overall

Not really my thing. This is different, but not the good kind of different, at least for me. Technically it seems a fine whiskey. A little water dials down the heat and overall more enjoyable. I’m not just digging the flavors all that much. It seems like it was finished in a barrel of something I don’t really care for. It’s just not my thing.

Recommendation

Try a Glass – Rating 2.0/5.0

(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)

Buying Options and Further Research

This is a low rye Bourbon without too many piers. For low rye around this price a good bet are the Colonel EH Taylor Jr Small Batch and Single Barrel. A higher rye recipe that is similar is John J Bowman.

(ri)1 Rye Whiskey – Review #48

(ri)1 Background

(ri)1 Rye Whiskey(ri)1, or “rye one,” is touted as an ultra premium rye whiskey from Beam-Suntory. From the marketing materials, bottling presentation, and goofy name, I’d guess they’re going after high-end mixed drink market. It seems to hit the mark as it has a mass-market appeal of light, crisp, and refined flavors. Beam was one of a small handful of companies regularly producing rye whiskey before it became trendy again. As a result, it seems reasonable Beam would interesting in branching out their portfolio of products.

(ri)1 is aged a minimum of 4-5 years and that’s about all the info Beam provides.

Details

No Age Statement. Bottled at 46%. Thought to be about 51% rye. Paid $47

Aroma

Floral. Mint. caramel, cinnamon, charred oak. Spicy, but light.

Flavor

Evergreen, mint. Caramel and vanilla. Nuttiness what seems Beam yeast. Bubblegum. Nice sweetness. Spicy zip. Chocolate barrel char. Light in flavor. Mild astringency in the finish.

Overall

This is a pretty nice tasting rye. To me this seems subtle, but well put together. I could see this being better for sipping than mixing because of the subtleness, but (ri)1 certainly wouldn’t make an offensive cocktail. I’m not sure it would add a lot of character to a mixed cocktail, but it wouldn’t hurt anything. Like most lower percentage straight ryes, this shares some Bourbon character along with a good rye presence.

This is a more expensive rye. I’m not sure it’s worth the price, but among rye whiskies around 51% rye and this price range, I think I favor (ri)1. Overall I’m not really impressed with the rye whiskey near this price in terms of value. Maybe my opinions will change, but I think I’d rather just save a few bucks on a cheaper bottle of rye or spend the same money on a nice high-rye Bourbon. Still, if you dig rye whiskey, you’ll want to check it out.

Recommendation

Buy a Bottle – 3.0/5.0 Rating

(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)

Buying Options and Further Research

Again I look at these as a 51%-range rye whiskey and try to compare it to similar whiskies near this price. Others would be Knob Creek Rye, and Russell’s Reserve Rye. They’re all pretty close to me with each having something I like. It could be a toss up, but I’d put (ri)1 at the top of the list, but certainly the others are worth checking out. I’d also suggest checking bottles in the lower price tier such as Wild Turkey 101 Rye, and Sazarac Rye.

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