Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Barterhouse Bourbon

Barterhouse bourbon was the first release -currently of three- from the Orphan Barrel Distilling Company, which is owned by spirits giant Diageo. Stocks of this whiskey are said to have been distilled at Bernheim Distillery yet stored at the famed Stitzel-Weller facility. Each orphan barrel is hand bottled in Tullahoma, TN (George Dickle).

Mashbill is 86% corn, 8% barley, 6% rye
20 years old
90.2 proof
Bottle #36959

Color: Sweet maple syrup

Nose: Dessert in a bottle; honey'd vanilla floats out of the glencarin with rich notes reminiscent of creme brûlée.  Nutty peanuts, red hot candies, and a slight spice appear after the sweeter notes. At the bottom of the glass notes of saw dust and a musty, dry oak appear, which is the tell-tale sign of a hyper aged whiskey. 

Taste: Hard caramel, sugar in the raw, honey, and creamy vanilla splash the tip of my tongue. Peanuts shells crumble on the mid palate and the whole experience is quickly dried out by a very rustic oak. 

Finish: Smooth and mellow; the finish may be my favorite part of this bourbon. A little brown sugar with lots of dry, aged oak hold onto the tongue for a calming, medium length finish. 

Conclusion: At 20 years old, Barterhouse is a prime example of how age can affect the taste of a whiskey. Even at 90 proof and a lighter mouthfeel, it's loaded with depth and character. That being said, it's certainly not what I would call "well-balanced"! I'm glad I picked this up - even at $80 a bottle- it's a great opportunity to try a hyper aged bourbon. However, if given the opportunity, I don't think I would re-stock it in my home bar. 

My Rating: B (Good)

Video Review

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