Skip to main content

Orphan Barrel’s 26-year-old Old Blowhard bourbon gives ‘rare’ new meaning

The whiskey world likes to throw around words like “rare” and “limited” like it’s going out of style. But it’s not often that we, the drinkers, get a taste of what those terms truly mean. Such is not the case with Old Blowhard bourbon, the second unique release from Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company, which is made from barrels of the sweet Kentucky brew that are both rare, limited, and pack an interesting history.

Related Reading

old-blowhard-bottle-shot_hi-res-2 copy 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company name is, in fact, a bit of a misnomer. Orphan Barrel, which is owned by spirits giant Diageo, doesn’t do any of its own distilling at all. Instead, the bourbon in bottles of Old Blowhard and Barterhouse Whiskey, Orphan Barrel’s other bourbon offering, come entirely from “forgotten” barrels “discovered” at the Stitzel-Weller warehouses in Louisville, KY, a famous distillery founded by Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, and now owned by Diageo.

“It’s every worker’s dream of finding that forgotten barrel of delicious whiskey and sharing it with their friends,” Ewan Morgan, Master of Whiskey for Diageo, said in a statement. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Aged 26 years and bottled at just over 90 proof, Old Blowhard bourbon is a sippin’ whiskey, meant to be enjoyed neat (or with a bit of ice, if you must). Your first whiff of Old Blowhard offers hits of dark fruit notes, sandalwood, and a touch of ripe banana. Take a taste, and you’ll immediately notice an extra-dry hit of spices acquired during its decades spent in oak barrels, and the sense that this dram is downright old – which, of course, it is.

This bottle of Kentucky history won’t come cheap or easy, however: the suggested retail price for Old Blowhard is $150. And because the whiskey is made from a small selection of found barrels, its supply is so limited that you might have to do some searching to find a liquor store with a bottle in stock. That said, Old Blowhard should be available now – if you can track it down. Happy whiskey hunting!

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Kienlen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jacob Kienlen was a culture writer for The Manual. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, he has considered the Northwest his…
Blade and Bow Re-Releases Rare 22-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Blade and Bow whiskey

Some whiskeys are made to sit on your bar cart and be consumed whenever you damn well feel like while others should be kept under lock and key, pulled out only for special occasions, and one of those is the extremely rare Blade and Bow 22-Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which has been re-released this spring.

Bruh, I don’t think you heard us. Twenty-two years old! Might we remind you that the minimum requirement for a straight bourbon is only two years.

Read more
Old Ripy Bourbon Review: History Revisited

Sometimes, companies decide to head back into the archives for their next big project. In this case, Campari America decided to head all the way back to pre-Prohibition times and to do that they enlisted the help of two men, T.B. Ripy IV and Tom Ripy, great-grandson and great-great-grandson of the bourbon’s namesake T.B. Ripy. What came out of their research is one of the two new releases in their Whiskey Barons collection, Old Ripy Bourbon.


Read more
How to make the finest Tom Collins cocktail, according to experts
Take notes so you can add these cocktail recipes to your home bar repertoire
Fresh home made Tom Collins cocktails with lemon

For a drink that has its own glass, you'd think the Tom Collins cocktail would be even more popular. It's a classic, without a shadow of a doubt, but many imbibers don't exactly know how to whip one up, let alone perfect it.

The Tom Collins is a relatively simple drink. That said, you still need to do it right. All the little things become that much more important, from effervescence and temperature to the freshness of the citrus. Assemble it poorly, and the drink is just a grown-up lemonade. Prepare it professionally, and you have one of the most refreshing cocktails ever devised in your hand.

Read more