May 15, 2014 – Diageo’s Orphan Barrel line of rare whiskies will expand to a third release in June with Rhetoric. As reported by WhiskyCast in February, Rhetoric is a 20-year-old Bourbon distilled at both the Old and New Bernheim distilleries in Louisville and matured in the warehouses at nearby Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Unlike the first two Orphan Barrel releases, Old Blowhard and Barterhouse Bourbons, Rhetoric will be a semi-permanent addition to the range with what Diageo described in a news release as “progressive aging.” Each annual release will be a year older, meaning the 2015 release will be a 21-year-old whiskey.
While Rhetoric has the same pedigree as Old Blowhard and Barterhouse, including a mashbill of 86% corn, 8% barley, and 6% rye, it will have a different taste profile. According to Diageo’s Ewan Morgan, the casks used for Rhetoric were matured on lower levels of the Stitzel-Weller warehouses, leading to a softer and creamier taste.
Rhetoric’s 2014 edition is bottled at 45% ABV, and will be available in limited quantities with a recommended retail price of $85 per 750ml bottle.