Wow. This Bourbon runs the whole gammet of senses. When I first pulled the cork, almost immediatly could smell that sweet, spicey bourbon. Poured it into a glass and loved the deep, dark amber color. First taste was caramel, vanilla and a hint of oak. As it worked it's way towards the back of my toungue I tasted the deep charred oak. The finish was long with a nice mixture between sweet and spice. Warmed the tummy! Great, Great bourbon. A little spendy, but glad I paid for admission.
For those unaware, this is the fifth iteration of the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric series. As far as we are aware, each whiskey comes from the same provenance, and the different age expressions allow one to travel through the oak maturation process. On to the whiskey:
Nose: Candied cherries. Some other dried berries underneath. Blueberry honey. A bit of leather, wafting up from below. As it opens up a bit more, citrus peel. Smells like orange peel to my nose. Vanilla. Lots of vanilla at the end.
Palate: Oak. Lots of oak. Leather/tannins coming through strongly. The dried cherry on the nose gives way to dried cherries on the palate, underneath the oak and leather. Further along, a bit of sourness and bitterness pierces through. Not unpleasant, mind you, but noticable.
After Water (1/2 teaspoon):
Nose: Less of the candied cherries and dried fruit, more citrus peel. The honey and vanilla come on more strongly. A small hint of the leather from new shoes.
Palate (after 1/2 teaspoon water): Still oak. Still leather. After the water, the oak and leather drown out a lot of the more subtle flavors, which I find unusual, as usually the opposite happens. After a while, the vanilla starts coming through. All in all, a very barrel-influenced bourbon, which is not surprising given its age.
Rating: 6 stars. This rating’s wholly a function of Flaviar’s price for this bottle. At around $165, which is what I paid for it, it goes up to an 8. Still, this bottle is not as good as the 23 year. The oak influence is becoming a bit too heavy and is drowning out the high-quality spirit. Still, if you find a good price, worth a buy.
The 24yr is my favorite bourbon! I'm a sucker for the sweetness you get from the high corn content. Lots of almond extract and cherry on palate, a nice long finish for something of its age. Despite the high price I think its worth it.
Best bourbon I’ve ever had. The 23 year is my favorite but can’t go wrong with any of the releases. I’d let the 24 breathe a little but can’t beat the smoothness, sweet pecan nose and beautiful vanillas on the backside