Whiskey Review: Orphan Barrel Forged Oak


I will admit to you all, I am a tad partial to Orphan Barrel products. It was in the basement-level bar of a local brewery in a dark and crowded space that I tasted Orphan Barrel Barterhouse. This was my first taste of a “higher-end” (for me at the time anyways) bourbon. It was with the first successful hunt for a bottle with a close friend of mine that my love for bourbon really kicked-off. As such, I have successfully completed my mission to taste each of these Orphan Barrel products. So, without further delay, my review of Forged Oak for your entertainment.

Spirit Info

Distillery: ORPHAN BARREL Whiskey Distilling Co
Spirit: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 15 Years
ABV: 45.25%
Purchase Price: $79.99


True to the name, you immediately get a strong oaken scent. So strong in fact, you have to search for others. If you do though, you’ll find vanilla bean, caramel, and molasses intertwined.


The sip starts with a spicy kick of charred oak, dried berries, and fades into dried vanilla bean and maple. It’s a rather straightforward flavor that wood-punches your taste-buds.


Again, a rather straightforward flavor of orange-blossom honey plays on the tongue while a very slight woody burn sits in the back of the throat.


If you like woody bourbons, this one is one for your cabinet. It isn’t the easiest to find, but worth a pick-up if you’re into that sort of thing. I will admit the price is a tad high for such an on-the-nose bourbon when it comes to flavor, but with a name like “forged oak” you more or less know what you’re getting yourself into when you swipe your credit card.

Grade: B-