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January 26, 2018 (edited December 23, 2020)
3.0 out of 5 stars
Diageo isn't exactly doing their premium Orphan Barrel series any favors with releases like this. The story behind Gifted Horse -- and I stress the term story, because it's blatant marketing speak -- is that the distillery "accidentally" spilled some 17-year old Bernheim bourbon into a vatting of much younger, 4-year old bourbons, then realized that the resulting blend tasted amazing. Yeah, right. The company probably had some barrels of bourbon that got a little long in the tooth, and decided to even out the mix as much as they could with young, sweet juice before releasing it for a big price tag. Apple cider defines the profile of this whiskey, although it's a spiced, mulled cider. The problem with this expression is that the young whiskey gives it way too much heat at this high an ABV -- I see this as something that would have been better below 50%. As it is, it's rough and burns on the way down. Not easy to drink, and not much complexity to justify fighting through that heat. For $100, I'll pass easily.