Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Official Word: The continuing Orphan Barrel project makes this list with an asterisk. Rhetoric is released annually, but it continues to mature from the same batch. Last year’s was 20 years old, so this is an experiment you can follow along with, unlike distillers who make you take their word for it that they’re tasting things every year to pick the best one.
Word on the Street: This one is easier to find, as Diageo does a good job of keeping Orphan Barrel products on the market. Still, they get picked up quickly, so you may want to track yours down sooner than later.
The Final Word: Lots of dense, rich, sweet flavors. The oak character is definitely pronounced, but not unpleasant as it surrounds itself with toffee, burnt sugar, and all sorts of bold flavor. Even if you think Orphan Barrel can be hit or miss, this is a hit.
90.2 Proof; $100
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