We’re guessing 6th generation distiller Parker Beam didn’t attend “Career Day” at school (nor did his son Craig). But if the family name, synonymous with bourbon, brought heavy expectation, Parker (now a stately 69) carries it well. The Parker’s Heritage Collection, a special, annual bottling selected by Parker from the booze stocks at the Heaven Hill Distillery (Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, and Old Fitzgerald), is a grand example of what he does best. This release (the 4th so far) is a 10-year old wheated bourbon—meaning rye has been substituted for wheat, lending the whiskey a softer feel. It’s bottled at barrel strength in two small batches (our bottle is a bristling 127.8-proof). A sniff reveals fruit and sandalwood, laced with (as you’d expect) alcohol, but in the mouth it’s expansive, coating the tongue with toffee and smoke, and finishing for days. With water (yes, you should) it’s right snuggly. And at around $80 it’s a great value for a high-class, limited edition whiskey.