Diageo launches lost whisk(e)y scheme

12 February, 2014

Diageo, the world’s largest premium spirits company and the largest producer of Scotch whisky, has launched an initiative to locate lost and forgotten barrels of whisk(e)y from around the world.

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is is headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, where Diageo bottles its whiskeys/ies. Its first releases include 20+ year-old Barterhouse whiskey and 26-year-aged Old Blowhard whiskey. Both brands are expected to begin appearing on select shelves throughout the US in March under strict allocation due to limited supply.

Barterhouse whiskey stocks were discovered in old warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, Kentucky. It is described as having a “soft nose reminiscent of warm spice, biscuit and buttercream.  The whiskey’s mellow taste includes notes of roasted grain, charred oak and a brown sugar finish”.  It will sell for a suggested retail price of $75.

Old Blowhard Whiskey was also found at Stitzel-Weller and is hand bottled in Tullahoma. At 26-years-old, the whiskey is said to contain “exuberant, rich flavours with undertones of smoke and honey followed by a gentle finish – dry and spicy with a hint of orange peel”. It has a suggested retail price of $150.

Diageo master of whiskey Ewan Morgan said: “The whisky warehouses and rickhouses these spirits come from are special places filled with the incredible smells of seasoned oak, rough textures of weathered wood and amazing tastes of precious liquid. It’s every worker’s dream of finding that forgotten barrel of delicious whiskey and sharing it with their friends.  That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Diageo says it continues to invest in the growing whiskey and bourbon categories via the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling company and its existing line of whiskies including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, Bushmills and more.

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