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Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 24

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DevD started a discussion

I’ve got an opportunity to trade an Elmer T Lee for an Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 24. I haven’t tasted Elmer T Lee as it was a gift to me recently. Looking for suggestions Ftom fellow connosr’s.

7 months ago

4 replies

Nock replied

That is an extremely personal decision. It really depends on what you like. I have tried a few bottles of Elmer T. Lee. I am personally not a fan. It is fine and all. I can see why people like it. But it was always on the shelf for $35. And now it has the cult status which I just don't understand. It is a "balanced" and "smooth" bourbon. I am just not a fan of that style. I like big, powerful, and boarderline offensive bourbon.

I have an open bottle of Rhetoric 23yo and a closed bottle of the 25yo. The 23yo is woody. Very woody. It has three basic notes: oak, leather, and dry tobacco. I am a fan. It isn't overly complex, but it does what it does well. I can only imagine what the 24yo and 25yo will be like. May bourbon drinkers are not fans of this "over oaked" type style. It is certainly an experience that will shape your bourbon drinking journey. I think my bottle of the 23yo is "good" but not amazing. I am glad I bought the bottle. I tried to pick up a second bottle without success. I am not sad. The 25yo will remained sealed for some time. That experience can run around $120 for a bottle. Personally, I think trading for the experience alone is worth it. But you might not enjoy that experience as much . . .

My honest guess is that you will "probably enjoy drinking" the Elmer T. Lee more. But there is a value in experiencing the Rhetoric 24yo that you will never be able to replicate. No one is putting out 24yo bourbon any more except at very high prices. Might be your only chance. Elmer T. Lee will keep coming out for years to come (it is just going to continue to be hard to get your hands on a bottle).

Let us know what you decide.

7 months ago 1Who liked this?

Victor replied

The Orphan Barrel is more rare, and probably harder to later replace. I'd go for that if I were you. Of course, I have owned, and do own, some Elmer T. Lee.

I do agree with @Nock that most people will probably enjoy the Elmer T. Lee more to drink. These are very different styles. Drinking Orphan Barrel would compare to drinking Elmer T. Lee like drinking Karuizawa would compare to drinking Macallan 12 Sherry Oak. I've had some Karuizawa (thank you @numen, wherever you are), and even though I love the thick intense style, it wasn't that great. I would expect the same from Orphan Barrel...which is to say very interesting, but probably a bit rough around the edges.

7 months ago 0

DevD replied

Thank you all for your honest inputs. Unfortunately the Rhetoric is no longer available for trade.

7 months ago 0

Jonathan replied

@Nock Elmer was an entry bourbon for me too, and I can't find it anymore. I suspect that, like Eagle Rare 10, the difference between those two and other BT (non-BTAC) bottles has to do with barrel selection. That variable is difficult to quantify because it also has to do with personal taste, and then the occasion for the tasting. My mom loves rye (especially Wiser's) and likes bourbon, but I won't bring OGD BIB or 114 to her place. As for Handy, fuh-gett about it. in any case, I don't think the more subtle flavor profile in Elmer or ER10 can be chalked up to abv,

Now Basil Hayden---I don't see any occasion to pick it up, especially with the weird new finishes and all of that water they drench it in.

7 months ago 0

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