Sunday, February 8, 2015

More Orphans: Old Blowhard Bourbon

Having liked the Barterhouse 20 year old bourbon from Diageo's Orphan Barrel series, I thought I would try the original release.  Old Blowhard is a 26 year old bourbon distilled at the old Bernheim distillery. I don't see as many of these on the shelf these days as the Barterhouse, but there may still be some out there.

Old Blowhard, 26 yo, 45.35% abv ($150)

This has a great nose of ancient, oaky bourbon. The palate comes on with sweet caramel and then transitions into intense oak with a touch of acid.  The finish is dry and ashy like an old Zinfandel with a touch of bitterness.

Of all the Diageo Orphan Barrels, this initial release probably has the worst reputation. Again, I was surprised how un-terrible it was.  It's not great by any means, but it's perfectly decent and I'd happily drink a glass or two anytime.

That being said, I wouldn't pay $150 for a bottle, but to be fair, it is 26 years old.  Age always adds price and it's not as if there are tons of comparable 26 year old bourbons going for much cheaper.  Going head to head with the Barterhouse, though, the Barterhouse is the winner in both taste and price.  

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