Following up the recent release of Old Blowhard and Barterhouse, the $85 bottle will hit shelves in June. The stocks were originally distilled in both the New and Old Bernheim distilleries of Louisville, warehoused at Stitzel-Weller and bottled at 45 percent ABV in Tullahoma, Tenn.
Due to limited supply, the whiskey will be highly allocated. Orphan Barrel plans to continue releasing Rhetoric as a series, following it up annually with increasingly aged expressions, starting next year with a 21-year-old.
In a press release, the company described the whiskey’s nose as “smoky and leathery,” with a taste of “smoked vanilla, toasted rye and dried fruit before a long full finish of cherry blossom and bitter chocolate.”
Orphan Barrel launched earlier this year to create multiple limited releases of whiskies that had sat idle in warehouses. As Orphan Barrel Master of Whisky Ewan Morgan said in an interview with Whiskey Reviewer:
For decades, warehouse workers and distillers have shared stories of old whiskies forgotten in the corners of rickhouses and warehouses across the world. Although these days there’s no such thing as a lost barrel, we do have amazing whiskies that are ‘orphaned’ and have been let to age longer than intended. As such they are left for ‘future projects and continue to sit undisturbed in our warehouses.
In an effort to find a home for these orphans we sent our teams into the darkest recesses of their respective warehouses to choose their favorites from the huge catalog of rare spirits Diageo own and release them to an ever growing base of whiskey aficionados.
John Hansell of Whisky Advocate tasted Rhetoric a few months ago, when it still carried a 19-year age statement, describing it a whiskey with “firm spice, botanicals, and dried fruit delivered on a bed of caramel.”