Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Indigo’s Hour Bourbon 18 Years Old

Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Indigo’s Hour Bourbon 18 Years Old

Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project rolls right along with a return to familiar grounds: namely, three bourbon-making regions of the United States. Specifically, the whiskey in this bottle starts as a mash of 68% corn, 28% rye, and 4% malted barley. Distilled in Indiana, it aged 18 years in Kentucky, and was ultimately bottled by Cascade Hollow Distilling in Tennessee.

So, threading the needle there you’re getting 18 year old MGP distillate — which is nothing I’d shake a stick at. Let’s get to tasting.

If you’ve encountered very old MGP stock, you know a little about what to expect here. The nose is burly with a heavy lumberyard character, leathery and layered with a mix of mint and pepper which combine to give the experience a strong spicy quality. Time in glass helps some of the more aggressive qualities to temper, making room for soft, restrained notes of butterscotch and vanilla cream.

Similar overtones on the palate: More intensely herbal and green, the mint-pepper blend takes on a grassier quality, slightly heathery with just a touch of dried florals. The indigo evoked by the product’s name is perhaps clearest here, suggesting the elements of perfume and exotic flowers that linger as the midpalate builds. A more traditional bourbon character takes over from there, featuring more butterscotch and vanilla, then layers of chocolate.

The experience continues to soften as the finish builds, the initial woodiness a distant memory by the time the fade-out arrives save for an echo of spearmint. Creamy and lush and still full of life, it’s a well-heeled, well-oiled, well-aged bourbon that no fan of the spirit will find remotely disagreeable. I mean, unless you hate butterflies.

90 proof.


Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Indigo's Hour Bourbon 18 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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