A couple of years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. It was a scary time in our life. After she beat the disease, our outlook changed. We realized that we were not, in fact, invincible. Personally, I realized that I needed to focus more on what was truly important in life. That instead of just existing, I wanted to make sure that the world would be a better place for my having been here. Even though I wasn’t the one that was sick, it made me realize that I wanted to be a better person. For her.
Last year it was announced that Parker Beam, Master Distiller at Heaven Hill, had been diagnosed with ALS. ALS is a disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement. In the fall of 2013, Heaven Hill released the most recent edition of the Parker’s Heritage Collection, a single barrel bourbon named Promise of Hope. They are donating $20 for each bottle sold to ALS research. I don’t know what impulse caused Heaven Hill to decide to make the donation, but I hope that it mirrors my own experience. I do know that my wife wanted it just a little bit more after finding out that they were doing that and I bought a bottle the day it hit our liquor store.
This spring, I finally cracked it open.
Parker’s Heritage Collection: Promise of Hope
Purchase info: ~$90 at Haskell’s Wine & Spirits, Burnsville, MN
Details: Single barrel, rye-based bourbon. 48% ABV
Nose: This has the most perfect bourbon nose. Sweet maple syrup, oak, baking spices and a hint of mint.
Mouth: Brown sugar, maple syrup and baking spices
Finish: warm and pleasant with lingering spice and bitterness.
Thoughts: Oh! The nose on this one! I’ve spent a long time just nosing this bourbon. Just laying on the couch with the glass perched under my nose, reading a book and smelling this bourbon. The taste doesn’t disappoint either. It’s not fancy but, in my mind, it is the perfect example of an archetypal bourbon. It embodies what I imagine when I imagine bourbon. Just perfect. So much so that right after I cracked it open, I went back to the store and bought a second bottle. To me, if it wasn’t the best release of 2013, it is at least in the conversation.
If you look, you might be able to still find one of these. Great bourbon for a great cause. If you missed out on it, you can still make a donation to Parker’s Promise of Hope and help fight ALS.