Old Blowhard Bourbon was one of the original Orphan Barrel releases. A program put together by Diageo that I have some serious issues with because of all the unnecessary layers of marketing BS they drape over whiskey that should speak for itself. For instance how cool is it that this came from the old Heaven Hill distillery before it burned down? Awesome right? That little nugget alone is a million times better than the garbage they said about it.
In Orphan Barrel’s Words: Old Blowhard Bourbon
“Blustery, boastful, and unapologetic, Old Blowhard Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has been around too long to suffer fools. In the warehouses of mass-production, you might say there isn’t much room for a whiskey full of flavor and big on personality. For 26 years, this well-traveled whiskey has been demanding attention, too bold to play well with others.
A whiskey like this doesn’t come around all that often. Only a very small amount of Old Blowhard exists, and it will only be made available once. After the last bottle of this release has been sold, it’s gone for good, once again to become but myth and legend…”
What in the serious hell does most of that mean? The first paragraph of the Orphan Barrel Old Blowhard description is one step above word vomit. Reading it sounds like they tried to make two different profound statements but then got distracted by something shiny and gave up half way through each. Though what do you really expect from a “distilling company” that doesn’t distill a single thing it puts out?
The actual Orphan Barrel endeavor, price point and end result (whiskey in bottles) by Diageo isn’t absurd, but the way they’ve been going about it from the beginning certainly has been. I wish they’d get rid of all the nonsense and focus on the whiskey itself. Anyways, let’s get on with the Orphan Barrel Old Blowhard review instead of dwelling on this mess.
Old Blowhard Bourbon Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Bottler: Orphan Barrel “Distilling” Company
Mashbill: 73% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 26 Years
Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller ($150 when released)
Old Blowhard Bourbon Review
OAK like an old drawer with some acetone and bits of dark fruit, vanilla, toffee and overripe citrus. The oak dominates the other aromas which struggling to find their footing.
OAK, like chewing on a stick, acetone and bits of raisiny dark fruit, herbal spice, citric acid, toffee and vanilla. Like the aroma the flavor is dominated by the oak.
Long oak fueled finish with bits of herbal spice, acetone and dark fruit.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not well balanced, medium body and a heavy warm feel.
Old Blowhard Bourbon is the definition of heavily oaked and is nearly one dimensional. It stops just shy allowing some of the other aromas and flavors to narrowly escape, but just barely. I love big oaky whiskey, but this takes it to a whole new level.
It’s not a whiskey I could drink on a regular basis, but I will admit that I get some amount of perverse joy from a couple sips of it, but nothing more. If I had a bottle of Old Blowhard Bourbon it would be something I’d pull out now and then to sneak a quick nip of, revel in the oak and put back on the shelf. Far from being a daily sipper it’s more like an occasional guilty pleasure.
SCORE: 80/100 (B-)
Big thanks to Linda for the sample!
Old Blowhard Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 80
- Palate - 80
- Finish - 80
- Balance, Body & Feel - 80
Old Blowhard Bourbon isn’t terrible, it’s just overoaked.