Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 Year

American Whiskey Review #58: Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 Year

Distillery: Bernheim/Heaven Hill

Bottler: Diageo

Region: Kentucky

ABV: 45.5%

Age: 25 year.

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

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.


Nose: (according to me) Much like the 24 year old, there was a metallic note that dominated this far too much for me. I asked the wife to sub in for me because I couldn’t get past it. (according to the wife) It seems of grapes, raisins, and ginger. Mostly grapes though.

Palate: Palate is noticeably very thin, even thinner than the 24 year. There’s just the smallest hint of cherry here and there. Very bland on the whole with a bunch of oak.

Finish: Medium in length. Just some oak tannins and that’s about it.

Conclusion: Yesterday I reviewed the 24 year edition of this whisky released by Diageo. I thought that one was a bit of a miss and wasn’t holding my breath for this. This one is an even bigger miss in my opinion. It’s thin and super bland. I was heavily reminded of another Diageo Bourbon, the non-age stated I.W. Harper. In all honesty, this one had less flavor than the I.W. Harper and was over oaked by quite a bit to boot. I’ll have to see if I can find a younger edition of this series as I’ve likely gotten to try them after they were past their prime.

Final Score: 67.

American Whiskey Review #58, Bourbon Review #45, Whisky Network Review #298


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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