The next release from Orphan Barrel is Lost Prophet. This is the fourth release in the series with Bourbons of Old Blowhard, Barterhouse, and Rhetoric 20. Lost Prophet is a 22-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon that was originally distilled at George T Stagg Distillery in 1991. The Stagg Distillery is the former name of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and this makes Lost Prophet unique to the other Orphan Barrel releases. The other releases came from either the old Bernheim Distillery or the rebuilt new Bernheim Distillery. The recipe used for Lost Prophet in fact appears to match what’s believed to be the Buffalo Trace’s #2 mash recipe.
Lost Prophet was aged at least for the later part of its time in barrels at Diageo’s Stitzel-Weller warehouses. It was bottled at the company’s bottling plant in Tullahoma, TN.
The marketing on Orphan Barrel products is that these were long-forgotten barrels sitting in their warehouses. It seems a stretch to suggest they were literally forgotten (they do pay taxes on them, after all), but for whatever reason, perhaps due to corporate acquisitions and trading of brands, the barrels never made it into a bottle or sold to someone else to bottle up. The result is consumers get a chance to drink something, not only uniquely old, but born of the days of whiskey inventory gluts.
22-years-old. Bottled at 45.05%. Mash of 75% corn, 7-10% barley and 15% rye. MSRP is $120, this is a sample provided by Orphan Barrel.
Lots going on here. Cinnamon, caramel, cloves, toasted oak, nutty like walnuts. Rich and buttery. Kind of earthy with dusty old leather. Digging deeper, little fruitiness with solvents and hint of latex paint.
Thin with some sweetness. Baking spices that I can’t quite single out. Earthy, stale coffee. Sherry flavors. Nuts. Light mint. Oaky but not overly assertive for its age. Tannins are moderate and don’t come up until the finish. Finish is also a touch acrid.
Drinking Lost Prophet I’m thinking of a one room office with old furniture and stale air. Scuffed up hardwood floors and fading sunlight making long shadows and catching dust in the air. Maybe something out of a film noir. Vintage is a good word to describe Lost Prophet.
Older Bourbons aren’t my favorite thing, so this isn’t the type of bottle I’d pull down on a regular basis. Thankfully my tastes prefer the much more accessible younger Bourbons. Like the other Orphan Barrel releases, for me this would be something to savor to share with others or pour to ponder life in general. Mostly though, Lost Prophet is an exercise in what time does to Bourbon.
For its age, there nothing really offensive. In my sampling I think I like it as much if not better than the other old Orphan Barrel releases I’ve reviewed. It’s a soft drinking whiskey albeit with some roughness in the edges. But it also brings a lot of old, vintage character. As this release rolls out, I’ll be looking to buy a bottle. If I find one, I’ll be sure to give it a formal rating.
This was a sample provided by Orphan Barrel. I only offer recommendations and ratings based on whiskey I’ve purchased. Stay tuned for my full review.