Country: USA
Region: Kentucky
Type: Bourbon
Bottler: Diageo
ABV: 45%
Score: 91 points

Orphan Barrel's Rhetoric 20-year-old Bourbon. Image courtesy Diageo.This 20-year-old Bourbon comes from casks filled at both the old and new Bernheim distilleries in Louisville in the early 90’s and matured at nearby Stitzel-Weller Distillery, and is the third release in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel series of whiskies. Future editions will use what Diageo calls “progressive aging,” meaning that the 2015 release will be 21 years old and so on.

As might be expected, there’s a lot of oak on the nose, along with notes of almond, sandalwood, lemon furniture polish, and dark chocolate fudge. The taste is tart and spicy with lemon pepper, sandalwood, oak, ginger, clove, and hints of honey and vanilla underneath that add balance. The finish is tart, spicy, and lingering with a good oakiness. (May, 2014)