Producer: Orphan Barrel/Diageo. Distiller: various. ABV: 57.5%. No age statement. Blend: see below. Price: $50.
Got a taste of the latest Orphan Barrel, Gifted Horse, at a swanky L.A. launch event at the cool-as-hell bar/speakeasy No Vacancy.
The official story is that the blend was an accident, first called “Project Whoops” internally (take that as you will), and that it’ll never be repeated or released again.
Gifted Horse is a blend of American whiskies bottled at 57.5% ABV, the highest of the series so far: 38.5% 17-year-old bourbon from Bernheim, 51% 4-year-old MGP bourbon, and 10.5% 4-year-old MGP corn whiskey.
It’s also the cheapest Orphan Barrel so far at $50 MSRP, though if you’re looking for maximum age for minimum price, this isn’t a value bottle–see Josh Peters’ review (and rant) at The Whiskey Jug for the price-per-age breakdown.
Let’s talk taste. They set a high bar at the launch event by opening with a pour of Rhetoric 21–my hands-down favorite Orphan Barrel–and I think the Gifted Horse suffered by comparison. The nose is light, bright, and young, with caramel, citrus, and toasted coconut. The young corn dominates on the palate, with some cinnamon and orange candy, while the older whiskey’s oak tannins dominate the finish, which is fairly sharp and dry.
The price may make this more accessible than the rest of the Orphan Barrel line, and completists will likely snap it up, but I’d recommend skipping this one and saving up for the next Rhetoric release instead.
Cheers, friends! – BO
Orphan Barrel graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.