Forged Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 15 Years
What the Distillery Says:
A pillar of strength rooted in time and wisdom, Forged Oak was found while foraging through the historic Stitzel-Weller rickhouses. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey spent 15 contemplative years in charred American white oak barrels.
Forged Oak is a statuesque whiskey with aromas of cedar, maple and vanilla bean that give way to seasoned woody notes of cocoa and young berries, ultimately leading to a long, dry finish of black pepper.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Oak, burnt sugar, raisins, caramel toffee, cinnamon undertones with hints of leather.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel, sweet oak that transitions to pepper spice.
Finish: Quite nice – long and lingering.
Comments: When I first sampled this, I was underwhelmed – so I know I had a slight negative bias when approaching this one again. It somewhat surprised me this time around; I like it more than I expected! The finish is one of the longer ones I can recall. While I enjoy the palate, for the age (and price point), I was hoping for more. It has a nice mouthfeel, but seems a bit more muted. If I stumbled upon it on a shelf, I’d have to think about it; not an automatic buy for me, but worth considering.
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says:
Nose: Pleasantly woody with copious amounts of toffee and cinnamon raisin toast.
Palate: Rich and almost chewy. This is a really nice caramel sweetness. Easily one of the better sweet notes I’ve come across in bourbon. Not cloying in the least and not too faint. Just right. It’s backed by a nice integration of vanilla, more cinnamon, and a little crushed mint.
Finish: Oak, black pepper, and cocoa powder.
Comments: I haven’t exactly been bowled over by the earlier Orphan Barrel releases but this one came out quite nice. This is a cracking glass of fine aged and well integrated bourbon. I think if this was release by the current owners of the Bernheim distillery (Heaven Hill) where this was made instead of all the hoopla Diageo attributed to the Orphan Barrel range then it would be received as the exceptional bourbon it is.
Rating: Must Try