By Father John Rayls
There are many opinions about Orphan Barrel whiskeys, ranging from love and devotion to cynicism and avoidance. For myself, having found several sourced whiskies that I thoroughly enjoy, I remain open-minded concerning the Diageo’s Orphan Barrel releases. While I’m skeptical about the stories of suddenly rediscovering barrels that are 12 to 25 years old (skeptical because we know they’re paying taxes on each barrel). But, who can resist a 25 year old whisky regardless of how it came to be bottled?
Entrapment is the 11th release in the Orphan Barrel series. This one came not from America, but from Diageo’s distillery in Gimli, Manitoba the home of Crown Royal, the best selling Canadian Whisky in the US market and a favorite in Texas as well. It was distilled and aged near the banks of Lake Winnipeg, the 11th largest fresh water lake in the world at the Diageo owned distillery. As last year’s Whoop & Holler was essentially a 28 year old George Dickel, think of Entrapment as a 25 Year Old Crown Royal.
The look in my Glencairn glass was a very beautiful medium brown with a strong copper tint. The highlights were of very bright polished copper, while the legs were eventually prolific and thin. They were initially reluctant to come down, and then suddenly formed and rushed to the bottom of the glass.
The nose was somewhere between subtle and medium in intensity. It didn’t rush out to greet me, but was readily available nonetheless. There were notes of toasted oak, a faint aroma of walnut and vanilla over some light toffee.
The first sip brought a light creamy mouthfeel. Entrapment is a light and delicate whisky; not at all what I was expecting. The tasting experience is a mid mouth forward activity. The flavors on the palette are light oak and walnut over some balanced vanilla. The initial experience occurs in a relatively short period of time as the finish makes an appearance early on. The flavors transition into a growing warmness with semi-sweet flavors of dried fruit. It never becomes overly sweet but maintains a good balance in all areas.
I don’t normally recommend a “delicate” whisky, but this is a very enjoyable whisky for those rare quiet moments
It currently is widely available with a suggested retail of $150.00. However, I have seen it listed at more than double the price at a few places.