Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Review

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Review

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler is the latest addition to the Orphan Barrel line and is billed as a 28-year-old American Whiskey, but unlike with some of the releases the company actually does disclose where this one came from – which is awesome. The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company doesn’t actually distill anything they put out so the least they can do is tell us where the whiskey comes from, and with recent releases they are.

It’s nice to see more transparency and information come out about the whiskey that OB is putting out. It makes it more fun in my opinion to know what we’re drinking. It makes it easier to understand the history of what’s in your glass. Knowing that this is a 28-year-old George Dickel immediately had my interest piqued and after trying it next to the last remaining bit of my George Dickel 17 I’m happy to say… it’s a fine tasting dram, especially if you’re a fan of GD. The full details are in the Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler review below!

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Info

Region: Tennessee, USA

Distiller: George Dickel
Mashbill: 84% corn, 8% rye & 8% malted barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 28 Years
ABV: 43.%

Price: $175*

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Review

EYE
Honey – it’s oddly light colored for being 28 years old. I’ve had 9-year-old single barrels that were darker…

NOSE
Corn, vanilla taffy, toffee, citric acid, oak and coca with light bits of biscuits, orchard fruit and fresh maple bars. This is lovely stuff and it has a crispness to it that surprises me. I thought for sure George Dickel would be overoaked as hell at 28 years and this is anything but.

PALATE
I could drink this all day every day and be a happy human. Caramel corn, vanilla taffy, citrus peels, pepper, biscuits, fruit and cocoa with bits of cinnamon, fresh maple bars, baking spice, oak and orchard fruit.

FINISH
Long fade of corn, caramel, vanilla, citrus, spice and fruit.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, round full body and a smooth crisp feel.

OVERALL
Yes please! If this Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler wasn’t $175 a bottle I’d be thinking about buying a case. As it sits I’m definitely picking one up, but a second will be a tough purchase to justify. That said it’s incredibly good and if you’re a fan of George Dickel I think you’re really going to like this. It has that corn-driven sweetness that I love in the George Dickel 12 but with a bit more depth and oak-driven complexity.

In my estimation there isn’t much to dislike about the Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler, but to be honest I do like the GD17 more. I think it hits that perfect balance of sweet and rustic that’s missing from the Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler. Though all-in-all I’m completely surprised at how good this is and I’m exited to pick up a whole bottle to slowly explore as I sip my way through it. This is one bottle I won’t be sharing too much of.

SCORE: 92/100 (A-)

*Disclosure: This Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 93
  • Palate - 92
  • Finish - 92
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 91

Summary

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler is really darn good. Especially fi you’re a fan of George Dickel

Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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16 Responses to Orphan Barrel Whoop and Holler Review

  1. I respect that all palates are different, but mine cannot disagree more with you on this one. Didn’t like it at all. If there were a case for sale and you could afford it, I’d roll out the red carpet to let you buy it. Way too astringent for me, but as is only fair to say, to each his own.

    • Hi Steve,

      I really enjoyed this one, the only OB release I haven’t liked and thought was way over oaked was the Old Blowhard. That one was sooo astringent.

      Thanks for sharing, cheers!

    • It is possible, I had a similar thought because they call it an American Whiskey. Though that could also be because they can’t call it a Tennessee Whiskey because it was aged in Kentucky and can’t call it a Kentucky Bourbon because it was distilled in Tennessee. If it was put into a used barrel they could have called it a Corn Whiskey, but that doesn’t sound as good as an American Whiskey.

      That’s been my thought process behind it, but so far Diageo isn’t saying. Cheers.

  2. My assumption is that it is so light because after 28 years this stuff was likely 110-140 proof and after watering it down to 86 proof to ensure it didn’t taste like tree bark stewed in boiled tea bark tea, it was bound to look like light honey. That being said, I have agreed with your opinions on the previous OBs so I am excited to at least try a pour of this one.

    • I though about that, but the 9 year Single barrels I have are quite a bit darker and clock in at 51.5%, so not astronomically higher than 43%. I was expecting it to look more like the Rhetoric 22 in color. Cheers Joshua

  3. Tell me where the hell you can buy a bottle for 175 .nowhere cheapest I have see anywhere is 300 .let me know and don’t tell me a place for 200 that don’t ship.

    • $175 is the MSRP. If the stores in your area are marking it up that sucks. It hasn’t even made it to the west coast yet so I don’t know who or what it will be when it shows up here.

  4. What a great read and review, thanks for posting. But the price, yikes! I’d love to try one of the Orphans, but you know…$$$

    In your opinion, are there sub $50 bourbons (or any American whiskeys) that exist today – right on the shelf, no lotteries, no secondary markets – that you’d call exceptional and 90+?

    • I feel you Grange. I was really excited to buy 2-3 bottles… and then I saw the price. Now I’m looking at maybe one as my fall release splurge.

      Sure, there are plenty of great sub $50 whiskies out there. Four Roses single barrels can be stellar, George Dickel barrel select and single barrel options are almost always dynamite, Russelles Single Barrels can also be stellar and I’m always a fan of Russell’s 10 year, 1792 Full Proof is great if you can find it, Knob Creek Single Barrels can also knock your socks off with you get a great one and plain old Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare always make me happy. I drink far more of those kinds of bourbons I just listed than I do the super rare stuff.

      • Thanks for the notes and for sharing your picks. Happily, you mentioned quite a few of my favorites – I have yet to try the 1792 Full Proof, though. I’ll add to the list Booker’s. I buy one whenever I spot it on sale under $50. My latest pick was Annis’ Answer, a fine bottle.

        Cheers!

  5. Josh

    I generally appreciate your reviews as our palettes are similar for the most part. However we couldn’t be further apart here. This is truly the poorest of the orphan offering to date. IMHO

    • To each their own. My sample didn’t last a week and I’m heavily considering a bottle. If it were $100-$120 it would be a no brainer for me, but with tax in CA it puts it at a hair under $200 and I’m having a tough time with that.

  6. Josh,
    Great site! I have always been able to locate all the Orphan Barrell releases, but not this one. Any word on the number of bottles that were released? Or has this already become a unicorn? Thanks and keep up the great work!

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