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08 Jul 2014 By

A company is selling bottles of forgotten old whiskey. Here’s why you might actually want to drink it.

Beverage company Diageo is turning abandoned liquor leftovers into a small-batch whiskey series called Orphan Barrel.

By Sarah Kessler

The way Stephen Rust tells the story, the moment he took a sip, he knew it was the one. “You instantly understand,” he says. “There’s magic.” Rust, the luxury division president at the alcoholic-beverage company Diageo, was in Kentucky bourbon country earlier this year to taste a forgotten, 20-year-old whiskey that had been pulled from the historic Stitzel-Weller distillery’s rick house. With him were Ivan Menezes, the company’s CEO; Larry Schwartz, its president of North America; and Peter McDonough, its chief marketing and innovation officer. Together, in front of a big bow window out of which, legend has it, Pappy Van Winkle himself once shot turkeys during the workday, they all sampled the amber liquid. The whiskey was left over from Diageo’s brief ownership of the Bernheim distillery in Kentucky. Though it had come with the purchase, it hadn’t found a purpose in any of the company’s existing whiskies, and it had been aging well past typical American whiskey age, waiting for someone to figure out what to do with it.

Read more at Fast Company

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