Whiskey Review: Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade - ForWhiskeyLovers.com

Whiskey Review: Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

In this review I’m taking a look at The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co., a part of Diageo, and its recently announced first ever rye whiskey, Scarlet Shade, an expression that’s been all around bourbon country. The whiskey itself was distilled in Indiana, aged in Kentucky, and bottled in Tennessee.

Samantha Johnson, Scarlet Shade’s master blender, said that blending the rare 14-year-old rye whiskey stocks was the perfect opportunity to share Orphan Barrel’s first rye offering with the world.

She explained that Scarlet Shade crossed state lines from Indiana into Kentucky to age in new barrels of white oak for 14 years.

The label design on the bottle is an homage to the history of Scarlet Shade. In the center, a cardinal, state bird of Indiana and Kentucky, is surrounded by Indiana’s state flower, the peony, and perched on a skull to honor lost loved ones.

Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade review

We review Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade, a rye whiskey that’s been aged 14 years in white oak barrels and is this Diageo brand’s first every rye offering. (image via Diageo)

Tasting Notes: Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade

Vital Stats: 90 proof (45% ABV), aged 14 years in white oak barrels, 750ml bottle, $249 msrp. 

Appearance: This rye whiskey has a lovely reddish amber tint. 

Nose: There is a very sweet touch that hits your nose, followed by a lovely oak scent. 

Palate: This rye is definitely sweet and smooth on the tongue, with a touch of vanilla and mixed berries, with a hint of oakiness, and a finish of chocolate. 

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