Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Whiskey Project Gets A New Bottling

f65923a99cad304d3f45f7f3cdf1344aSpirits giant Diageo, besides getting ready to build a new whiskey distillery in Kentucky, is also raiding old bourbon stocks for its popular Orphan Barrel label, which aims to locate “forgotten” barrels of untapped whiskey that can be brought to market in small batch releases. It earlier this year unveiled the first two very limited edition bottlings in this new line up, and is now starting to roll out across the United States something called Rhetoric Whiskey.

Unlike the previous Barterhouse and Old Blowhard releases, which were one off 20 and 26 year-old releases, the new Rhetoric bourbon is one that will, according to Diageo, be progressively aged and released over the coming years. What’s been made available for 2014 is a 20-year-old variant, while a 21-year-old will be forth coming in 2015 and so on down the line.

Rhetoric stocks were said to have been “discovered in warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, Ky.,” and distilled in both the New and Old Bernheim distilleries. It has been bottled in packaging that includes a fancy gold label with a hummingbird rising “above chaos and confusion to clarity and reason.” It will price for around $85 per bottle.

Tasting notes from the distillery indicate a whiskey that “begins with a smoky and leathery nose hinting of ripe apples and tastes of smoked vanilla oak, toasted rye and dried fruit. It carries a long, full finish of cherry blossom and bitter chocolate.” It was bottled at 90 proof.

[NOTE: this is a piece I originally did for Examiner.]

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