I will admit to you all, I am a tad partial to Orphan Barrel products. It was in the basement-level bar of a local brewery in a dark and crowded space that I tasted Orphan Barrel Barterhouse. This was my first taste of a “higher-end” (for me at the time anyway) bourbon. It was during my first successful hunt for a bottle with a close friend of mine that my love for bourbon really kicked-off. As such, I have successfully completed my mission to taste each of these Orphan Barrel products. So, without further delay, my review of Forged Oak.
- Distillery: Orphan Barrel Distillery
- Spirit: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Aged: 15 Years
- Proof: 90.5
- Purchase Price: $79.99
Nose: True to the name, you immediately get a strong oaken scent. So strong in fact, you have to search for others. If you do decide to look though, you’ll find vanilla bean, caramel, and molasses playing off the tail end.
Palate: Definitely a more intense flavor. The sip starts with a spicy kick of charred oak, dried berries, and fades into dried vanilla bean and maple. It’s a rather straightforward flavor that wood-punches your taste-buds.
Body: Bold. Just on the borderline of overpowering without crossing the threshold. That being said, the flavors aren’t incredibly complex.
Afterglow: Dried orange and floral honey surprisingly come out after you’re done with the sip. There is, of course, still a strong taste of charred oak that almost overshadow them.
Conclusion: If you like woody bourbons, this one is one for your cabinet. It isn’t the easiest to find, but worth a pick-up if you’re into that sort of thing. I will admit the price is a tad high for such an on-the-nose bourbon when it comes to flavor, but with a name like “Forged Oak” you more or less know what you’re getting yourself into when you pull out your wallet.
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.