Close Menu

Diageo unveils sixth Orphan Barrel whiskey

Diageo has released the sixth expression in its “experimental” Orphan Barrel whiskey series, called Rhetoric 21 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company Releases Rhetoric 21-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (PRNewsFoto/DIAGEO)
The packaging is designed to be “reminiscent” of the oak barrels ageing the whiskey

Rhetoric is re-released annually in a “progressive ageing” experiment intended to “explore the flavour characteristics” revealed by each additional year.

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company was created in 2014 to share “forgotten” barrels of whiskey with fans, and this year’s expression follows five previous Orphan Barrel offerings: Barterhouse, Old Blowhard, Rhetoric, Lost Prophet, and Forged Oak.

A younger 20-year-old version of Rhetoric was launched in June last year.

“The progressive aging experiment we’re employing with the Rhetoric series is incredibly unique,” said Ewan Morgan, master of whiskey for Diageo.

“We’re going to be able to compare a line of Bourbons side-by-side to see how aspects of the liquid – colour, aroma, flavors and mouthfeel – are impacted by extra time spent in the barrel. Like many others, I’m looking forward to tasting what one extra year in the barrel does to these bourbons over the coming years.”

This year’s release is said to be “richer and more complex, with a fuller mouthfeel”, with “new tasting notes of sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, baking spices and honey”.

The packaging is designed to be “reminiscent” of the oak barrels ageing the whiskey, and will become darker as each expression is released.

Rhetoric 21-Year-Old has an abv of 41.1%, and will be available across the US for an RRP of US$100 for a 750ml bottle.
Earlier this year, Diageo relaunched its I.W.Harper whiskey brand in the US with two new Bourbon expressions after a 20-year absence in the country.


It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No