It’s a rare opportunity for a self-funded booze blog to be able to taste test three fantastic, and not at all inexpensive bourbons side by side by side.
I have just had such an opportunity.
That’s right: Barterhouse, Rhetoric, and Lost Prophet… all on my dining room table!
Now. I did enlist Susy, Dan, and my wife Kari for this taste testing. I took notes, Susy & Dan & I chatted, Kari made sure we had no idea which bourbon we were tasting.
So here are my notes on each ounce of bourbon as presented:
Nose: Caramel, cloves, almond
Taste: Vanilla, brown sugar, cloves
Finish: Long and warm
Nose: Butterscotch, biscuit
Taste: Pepper, Citrus
Nose: Caramel, walnut, vanilla
Taste: Butterscotch, walnut, toast
By the tasting notes, it’s difficult to tell which I liked best. And I’ll be honest here, this was a bit like choosing your favorite child. The deciding factor was really the finish, so I proclaimed that #3 was my favorite.
I then proclaimed that:
Bourbon #1 was Rhetoric; Bourbon #2 was Barterhouse; Bourbon #3 was Lost Prophet.
And I was correct.
We had done something similar not too long ago with other bourbons. I, also, distinctly remembered that no matter how poetic I get about Barterhouse, its barrel notes are dialed back. That made it easy to suss out which was Barterhouse. And with such pronounced barrel notes velvety smoothness on #3, that *had* to be the oldest of the troupe: the 22 year old Lost Prophet.
I may or may not do a full write up on Lost Prophet and Rhetoric. Again, these two are one-shots. When they’re gone: they’re gone. And it’s my understanding that the American West Coast is sold out of Lost Prophet. The sad reality is this:
Orphan Barrel’s offerings have gained a cult following… a cult that knows when a good thing has arrived and isn’t afraid to pay a premium for it.