Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 24 Year

American Whiskey Review #57: Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 24 Year

Image Credit: Single Malt Savvy

Distillery: Bernheim/Heaven Hill

Bottler: Diageo

Region: Kentucky

ABV: 45.4%

Age: 24 year.

Mash bill: 86% corn, 8% malted barley, 6% rye

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.


Nose: It has a very strong metallic note, almost as if you’re sticking your nose into a copper or stainless steel cup. I’ve gotten a similar note a few times from Irish whiskies but it’s so strong that everything else barely comes through. There’s still a few musty notes with a hint of corn mash.

Palate: Palate is noticeably very thin. There’s a little bit of the artificial cherry flavor that goes into cherry cola. A few sweeter notes come through as well of dulce de leche and a hint of vanilla. With a drop of water, the cherry note comes out a little more and gets a little sweeter but in the end, it’s still fairly muted and there’s not a whole lot going on.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s again musty with a bit of artificial cherry, vanilla, and oak.

Conclusion: I’ve tried Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Forager’s Keep before and was less than impressed. Hoping that they somehow did better with the original Rhetoric line, I tried both their 24 year release and the 25 year old release. With the 24 year old release, I can’t say I’m impressed in the slightest. The nose starts off with a strong metallic note that dominates it. The palate is thing and while the few flavors that are there are nice, everything is super muted. The finish is pretty boring as well. Looks to be a bit of a miss by Diageo.

Final Score: 76.

American Whiskey Review #57, Bourbon Review #44, Whisky Network Review #297


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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