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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year
Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year
A new bourbon on the shelves at the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar, where I'll be hosting my Cutthroat Kitchen Viewing Party on August 10th, is the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 year  ($23 at Lock & Key). This is the third whiskey in a series from Diageo under the Orphan Barrel moniker. Rhetoric was bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee but it actually came from both the new and old Bernheim distilleries in Kentucky. The whiskey has an oaky and cigar-like sweetness nose while remaining delicate on the nostrils and almost masquerading as a Canadian counterpart. On the tongue the whiskey coats the mouth like warm butter and brings on a flavor of salted nuts. The greasy peanuts fade away into spices on the back of the tongue as the bourbon finishes with more of a 90 proof punch. The finish lingers long enough to be pleasant. While complex in a way, the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric is inconsistent from nose through the swallow in a way that shows little balance. It is overpowered by oak from the long aging process. Sure, it is old whiskey sourced from a Kentucky distillery, and I'd absolutely say it is worth a try for a whiskey nerd, I'm not sure you're really getting your bang for the buck.

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year Bourbon
Average Score: 71.0


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, and Jordan Lewis from tommysTV. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.