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- Brand: Orphan Barrel
- ABV: 45.35%
This time we have Old Blowhard 26 Year Old. "Old Blowhard"? "Barterhouse"? What the hell do these mean, anyway? Ahhhhh the marketing wizards of Diageo strike again...
Six more years in wood give it a darker colour than the Barterhouse. A wee bit shy on the nose, but it eventually shows quite a bit of oak, with sage, mint, liquorice and creme brûlée. Pipe tobacco, which I love. Complex and intriguing, even more so with water which foregrounds the mint and tobacco.
On the palate, a little too oaky but I get roasted almonds, more savoury herbs and burnt caramel. But again - the power and complexity are just not there, though more comes out with water.
The long, warming finish brings out some spice and mouth-drying oak. I find this one quite interesting - not firing on all cylinders, but certainly on most of them. Scores a little higher on complexity than the Barterhouse, but I also find it just a bit too oaky. Side-by-side they really show their similarities and their differences: if Barthouse is the shy but dependable Oliver Twist, then Old Blowhard is the sharp, sly delinquent The Artful Dodger. They make a very interesting pairing, and I look forward to future Dickensian Orphan Barrels.