What are orphan barrels?

They are whisky stocks that for whatever reason were not bottled or used in blends. In some cases, they consist of casks of whisky whose taste and aroma profile were sufficiently different from the norm that they couldn’t be used in a blend, even though the product was perfectly good whisky. In other cases, they were simply stocks that were unneeded, usually because of an imbalance in one or more components of a blend. In some cases, they are truly lost barrels, whisky barrels that were misplaced or misclassified only to be found years, if not decades later, like some lost treasure.

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co. was started to share barrels of delicious and rare whiskey, hidden away and nearly forgotten in the back of rickhouses and distilleries. Stories of these lost whiskeys have become the stuff of legend. Every Orphan Barrel whiskey is hand bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee, to ensure that these rare whiskeys are treated with the care they deserve – because some of them will only be available once. And once they're gone, they're gone forever.

Forged Oak was found while foraging through the historic Stitzel-Weller rickhouses. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey spent 15 years in charred American white oak barrels. Forged Oak is a statuesque whiskey with aromas of cedar, maple and vanilla bean that give way to seasoned woody notes of cocoa and young berries, ultimately leading to a long, dry finish of black pepper.

Twenty years in American Oak will make the average spirit a bit mellow; well this here is no ordinary spirit! The old Stitzel-Weller rickhouse hands had it written off as a rumor. But the rumors were true. And when the chips are in, a smooth operator can be mighty persuasive indeed. One sip of Barterhouse Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and you’ll understand. Tasting notes include warm biscuits and buttercream, with spice and brown sugar in the finish.

The next iteration of Orphan Barrel’s progressively aged series, Rhetoric Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 21 Years speaks to whiskey enthusiasts with much persuasiveness as another year in the barrel bursts with new smells, flavors and tastes. The bourbon is richer and more complex with a slightly higher proof. Aromas of cherry, sweet tobacco, honey and leather build upon the oak, fruit, vanilla and caramel of its counterpart with new tastes of sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, baking spices and honey.

Entrapment is a 25-year old whiskey produced by Crown Royal in 1992 at the Gimli distillery. The whisky is a rich amber color with a deep yellow-brown hue. On the nose there is a pronounced, sweet creamy, crème brûlée note accompanied by aromas of butterscotch with hints of vanilla, followed by hints of dried stone fruit and a bit of walnut. On the palate there is sweetness, a more pronounced dried stone fruit note of peach, with vanilla, butterscotch and hints of cinnamon and wood spice with a rich creamy texture.

Come and try these rare, distinct whiskies at Alan Wong’s, because once they’re gone, they’re gone. Enjoy them individually or in our Orphan Barrel “Orphanage” Flight.