In addition to being one of the larger producers of bourbon with Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill Distilleries is known for producing and releasing very old bourbon. Under their Parker’s Heritage Collection, Heaven Hill has released a number of highly acclaimed bourbons of outstanding ages including Parker’s Heritage 27 year old bourbon and Parker’s Golden Anniversary Bourbon, which included bourbon that spanned 50 years.
For bourbon, the sweet spot in aging is between 6 and 9 years. At 12 years, most bourbons begin to lose their fight with the barrel they are aged in and become over oaked. A great 27 year old bourbon, or even a 20 year old bourbon, is extremely uncommon. When it comes to aging bourbon, where a barrel was aged is almost as much of an influencing factor as how long it was aged.
Drink Spirits was recently at Heaven Hill Distilleries and spent some time with whiskey guru Larry Kass, who serves as Heaven Hill’s Director of Corporate Communications. Larry Kass explains why Heaven Hill does so well with aging bourbon, talks about how the company plans for a Parker’s Heritage Collection release, and some of the experimental things Heaven Hill is doing to create new and innovative whiskeys. Larry also talks about the company’s exceptionally popular Rittenhouse Rye and what they are doing to try to keep up with the demand.
Or you can listen to this as a podcast: Understanding Aged Bourbon with Larry Kass of Heaven Hill Distilleries