February 24, 2014 – The first two whiskies in Diageo’s new Orphan Barrel range are still a few weeks away from retailers, but the third release in the series was officially announced during a tasting for media, retailers, and bartenders today in New York City. Rhetoric Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a 20-year-old whiskey from the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and will go on sale in May alongside Barterhouse and Old Blowhard Bourbons.
Rhetoric has a similar history to Barterhouse, also a 20-year-old whiskey from Bernheim matured in the warehouses at Stitzel-Weller Distillery. However, Diageo’s Ewan Morgan told WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie that it will have a completely different taste profile. The casks for Rhetoric were matured on a lower level of the warehouse than those used in Barterhouse, and that gives the whiskey a softer and creamier taste, according to Morgan. Rhetoric will be bottled at 45% ABV (90 proof).
Pricing for Rhetoric was not announced, and the whiskey was not poured during the New York City event. However, we have learned that Rhetoric will likely be an annual release, since there are enough casks maturing at Stitzel-Weller that will be available to use for Rhetoric as they turn 20 years old.
Mark Gillespie’s tasting notes will be posted here at WhiskyCast.com when samples are made available.