Orphan Barrel "Whoop & Holler"

Orphan Barrel
"Whoop & Holler"
American Whisky
Aged 28 Years
42% ABV (84 proof)
~$175 (sample provided)

Color: light golden brown

Smell: really nice bouquet. Roasted corn is the main note, but there's also a bit of creamy red berry sweetness and a great complement of muted oak spice that comes across as tobacco-ish. It's a funky and musty nose, as far as whisky is concerned, and I dig it.

Taste: it's pretty unremarkable at first - just mild corn and caramel sweetness with some of the floral berries. But then the midpalate brings in some old dusty leather and tobacco. This continues into the finish, which is long and marked by drying oak spice.

Overall: this certainly isn't the flavor profile I was expecting from a 28 year old whisky (i.e., massively woody, bitter, and burnt). Although this was distilled at Dickel using Dickel's mashbill, I'd venture to guess that it aged in far different circumstances, perhaps not in freshly charred new oak barrels - Dickel's offerings are all much more wood-driven in terms of flavor. That said, the whisky in the bottle is good. Very good, even. It's vibrant and fresh, with some very interesting secondary flavors and - particularly - an impressively lingering and complex finish. For me, this is an "A-" and it comes closest to matching the BTAC Eagle Rare 17 flavor profile in terms of an analog.