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Diageo Extends Orphan Barrel Bourbon Project, As Bulleit Continues To Soar

February 4, 2016

Diageo has unveiled the latest release in its Orphan Barrel project, The Gifted Horse American Whiskey. The newcomer is composed of 38.5% 17-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville while it was operated by United Distillers. It also contains 51% four-year-old Bourbon and 10.5% four-year-old corn whiskey sourced from Indiana.

The Gifted Horse American Whiskey—which is 115 proof and retails at $50 a 750-ml.—is the seventh product launch in Diageo’s limited-release Orphan Barrel series, whose previous offerings have included Kentucky Bourbons Barterhouse, Old Blowhard, Rhetoric, Lost Prophet and Forged Oak. Gifted Horse will be “highly allocated, with no future releases planned,” Diageo noted.

As Diageo continues to add to its limited-edition whiskey offering, stoking interest among the connoisseur set, its core Bourbon label, Bulleit, is expanding at a torrid pace. Now the second-largest super-premium Bourbon brand in the market after Maker’s Mark, Bulleit grew net sales 26% in the U.S. in Diageo’s fiscal first half ended in December. In calendar 2015, Bulleit neared 600,000 cases stateside on 24% growth, according to Impact Databank, up from about 100,000 cases in 2010.

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