Forged Oak is one of the Orphan Barrel Series from Diageo. I am not sure why they call it “Forged Oak” The “Oak” part I understand – aged in oak barrels, but not the forged oak. Usually when you think of forging something, it is metal that has been super-heated and worked into shape. Maybe that is supposed to represent the charring of the barrel but to me that is a bit of a stretch. Of course the other definition of something that is “Forged’ is to counterfeit something like a “forged signature”. I do hope that is not what the marketers were trying to imply! I will never understand the minds of marketing departments.

In any case the important thing is the liquid in the bottle. Diageo has some great barrels of Bourbon in their warehouse and some of that whiskey went into this bottle of Forged Oak. I rather enjoy this Bourbon and I recall it as being reasonably priced for a 15yo Bourbon.

Forged Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Proof: 90.5

Age: 15 Years Old

Nose: Caramel and fruit – dates and berries, with lots of oak wood and aged tobacco.

Taste: Lots of vanilla and fruit – berries and pears, with tobacco and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry the fruit became caramel apples with nutmeg and ginger spice. When tasted with a pecan the fruit became a citrus and the spice became pepper.

Finish: A long and dry finish with oak tannins and baking spices. The cranberry enhanced the baking spices and reduced the oak while the pecan really brought out the pepper spice and oak tannins.

I am pairing this today with Black Label Trading Co. “Leaf by James” cigar. I find the smoke a rich dark tobacco with some vanilla and cedar spice. The Bourbon enhanced the vanilla and added a coffee note to the smoke. The smoke made the Bourbon a bit sweeter by enhancing the fruit flavors and taming the spice. I enjoyed this pairing.