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Orphan Barrel bottle to try 23andMe DNA test in hopes of discovering its biological distiller

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TULLAHOMA, TENNESSEE – A bottle of Rhetoric 25-Year, the latest offering from Tullahoma-based Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co., is reportedly turning to DNA genetic testing service 23andMe in an effort to uncover its biological distiller. The news comes after years of speculation and rumor by bourbon bloggers and reviewers about the whiskey’s true origins. Orphan Barrel, owned by leading spirits conglomerate Diageo, is known for purchasing and bottling “hidden away and nearly forgotten” barrels of whiskey from undisclosed sources.

In a press statement, Diageo spokesman John Billings announced that the company supports the bottle’s decision. “We encourage the whiskies we’ve adopted to learn about and potentially reconnect with their birth distillers should they so choose. We were happy to hear this bottle of Rhetoric 25-Year will be pursuing DNA testing to trace their birth parents and wish them a happy reunion.”  

The Rhetoric bottle says it will know the results of the test in six to eight weeks and is hopeful the results show their distiller is still alive and thriving.  

Image source: Josh Peters, thewhiskeyjug.com (used with permission, altered from original)

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