Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co.
Aged 15 years
MSRP: Originally $65, but now sells for substantially more
Please enjoy our Orphan Barrel Forged Oak Bourbon Review!
The Orphan Barrel website states “A pillar of strength rooted in time and wisdom, Forged Oak was found while foraging through the historic Stitzel-Weller rickhouses. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey spent 15 contemplative years in charred American white oak barrels.”
What is the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co?
For those not familiar with Orphan Barrel , here’s the scoop. They are owned by spirits giant Diageo, and produce their whiskeys in Tullahoma, TN. If you are not familiar with Tullahoma, it is the home of George Dickel, also a Diageo owned company. Orphan Barrel’s premise is that they find great whiskeys that were “lost” or “hidden away”, and then bottle them as limited releases. I put those words in quotes because the general consensus is that these barrels were never actually lost. Nonetheless, they are all fairly well aged whiskeys. Forged Oak Bourbon is one of these whiskeys.
Tasting notes – Forged Oak Bourbon Review
Let’s taste it:
🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉Nose: Cherry candy, vanilla, light butterscotch, oak, tannin, mild smoke; relatively mild alcohol
👉Taste: Cherry candy, mild simple syrup sweetness, dry oak, vanilla, char, tannin, leather
👉Finish: Vanilla, butterscotch, leather, mild white pepper spice; barrel char, tannin & oak remain in a long, dry finish; medium burn
Forged Oak Bourbon is a bit of an enigma
Orphan Barrel Forged Oak Bourbon is a bit of an enigma, but the folks at Diageo and Orphan Barrel are not known for being particularly transparent. It is on the older side, and those characteristics are definitely there. The fruit in the nose blends well with the older barrel flavors. The same trend continues into the taste, as well as the finish. There is noticeable oak, char and tannin, but they are not overbearing, but do contribute to a dryness in the finish. The proof is relatively low, but I think if it were any higher, the balance of flavors would change for the worst. I think that is often an issue with these older, fairly oaky bourbons.
When I first tried Forged Oak Bourbon four years ago, it did not really impress me. I actually thought it was thin and lacking. However, now, I am enjoying it quite a bit more. The bourbon probably changed a bit, but so did I. I have not had many other bourbons from “the racks of barrels in the historic Stitzel-Weller rickhouse”, so I don’t know how this one compares. Also, that statement is a bit vague and open ended and Orphan Barrel doesn’t say that this is actually a Stitzel-Weller distilled bourbon. Many sources suggest that it was actually distilled at the New Bernheim Distillery and aged at Stitzel-Weller. The folks at Orphan Barrel always leave you guessing.
If you enjoy a well aged bourbon with noticeable oak, some char and tannins, then I think you would enjoy Forged Oak Bourbon from Orphan Barrel. However, I have to include the caveat that when I first tried it, I was not overly impressed. Since this bourbon now sells for substantially higher than it’s original MSRP, I would recommend that you try it before you buy it, to be sure that it’s for you. Have you had Forged Oak Bourbon? What did you think Cheers! ?
We hope you have enjoyed our Orphan Barrel Forged Oak Bourbon Review! Would you like to learn about another well-aged bourbon? Read our Wild Turkey 17 Year Old Bottled In Bond Bourbon Review!
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