Ok…. Let me be upfront here. I’ve bought every Orphan Barrel release to date and have been largely disappointed by all of them. The only two I have legitimately enjoyed were the Lost Prophet 22yr (overall) and the Forged Oak 15yr (for value). I picked up this bottle for $59.99.
Gifted Horse is a blend of 17yr and 4yr whiskey. Is the story about the accidental blending true? Probably not but it’s still a fun diddy to put on the side of the bottle. It’s about 60% 4yr and 40% 17yr.
The color looks about right for the age mix with a medium dark amber hue, and the bottles all look good with a very cool design on the label. For this release they changed the bottle to have a much larger cap and wider opening–subtle change, but a good one making it look more substantial.
Ginger snaps, mushrooms, chili peppers, plantains and fresh leather. So much going on here. For 115 proof the nose isn’t that hot.
Nice gritty mouthfeel, really bringing out the earthiness on the palate. Heat is extremely manageable, barely even recognizing a cask strength bottling. Enjoyable palate with a decent finish.
The story about accidentally blending a 17yr and a 4yr is probably complete horse shit as opposed to gifted horse. It probably was an over oaked 17yr that when blended with a 4yr was very enjoyable. Whether the blend was on purpose, fated by the stars or a random occurrence, I’m glad they released this batch the the public. 93/100.
Enjoy this release from Diageo and I deem it to be the best value they have released to date. If you can get it from your local liquor store for $60, it’s definitely worth it.