The idea of an orphan barrel is a forgotten barrel that has been left behind in the dusty corners of a warehouse. For Orphan Barrel, a rare whiskey line that falls under the umbrella of Diageo, that means a whole lot of opportunity to create some pretty incredible, limited edition bottlings. Orphan Barrel has been working to acquire these forgotten casks and then running them as limited edition bottlings. So far, Orphan Barrel has come out with Tennessee Whiskies, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskies, and Canadian Whiskies, but up until now they haven’t released any single malt whiskeys. Well, Orphan Barrel is remedying that oversight, releasing Forager’s Keep.
Sourced from one of the shortest-lived distilleries in Speyside, Forager’s Keep comes from a 26-year Pittyvaich Single malt. The barrel was so forgotten that the whiskey was actually in the barrel eight more years than the distillery was in business. “Pittyvaich” means “farmstead at the birch wood” and was founded in 1974. The distillery was closed in 1993 and was soon after demolished. Even with only 18 years of existence, the Pittyvaich distillery produced some high quality whiskey as is evident from the single malt being marketed by Orphan Barrel.
Forager’s Keep offers the aroma of fruit, especially freshly cut red apple that gives way to vanilla with a follow up of orange peel and wood spices. It has a sweet, warming finish. It is bottled at 48 percent ABV.
Launched in June 2019, Forager’s Keep is sold on a first-come, first-served basis and will sell at the suggested price of $399. No word has been given on how many bottles this run will consist of, but given the fact that it comes from forgotten barrels, there can’t be that many, and there certainly won’t be any more after this run is done.