Diageo’s Orphan Barrel label has continued its Rhetoric series of ultra-aged bourbon with this year’s Rhetoric 23 Year Old. The first Rhetoric release came in 2014 as a 20 Year Old, with the plan to release an annual batch from the same stock, that stock having aged an extra year. The project has gone according to schedule with three expressions, each one year old than the last.
The bourbon in question was distilled at the Bernheim Distillery, located in Louisville, between 1990 and 1993, before Heaven Hill acquired the plant from Diageo in the wake of their catastrophic 1996 Bardstown distillery fire. The mashbill was a high corn recipe at 86% corn, 8% malted barley and 4% rye. The stock was then aged at the Stitzel-Weller warehouses, also in Louisville. It has been bottled at 90.6 proof (45.3% ABV).
The recommended retail price for Rhetoric 23 Year Old is $120 for a 750 ml bottle, and considering what 23 year old bourbon often fetches these days, it’s a fairly reasonable price to pay.