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Friday, September 8, 2023

A Peak Behind The Curtain... My Experience Selecting an OHLQ Exclusive

I was recently asked to participate in one of the OHLQ exclusive releases. The release was for an Old Pepper Rye Single Barrels. I know there is a lot of unknowns around how the barrels are selected so I thought it would be fun and insightful to write about the experience for the masses. 

It started when I received a Facebook message asking if I would ever be interested in being one of the panelists at an OHLQ barrel selection. I was very interested because I've always wondered how the process worked. I wasn't available to do the original data, but we later found a different OHLQ exclusive date that worked. 

The tasting happened on April 13th in a conference room at Heidelberg Distributing in Columbus and was for a still coming OHLQ exclusive release of Old Pepper Rye Single Barrel. The exclusive picks were made by myself, a representative from OHLQ, and two bourbon podcasters. Additionally, the owner of James Pepper (Amir Peay) was present. We did intros and got started. 

On the table was an assortment of a deli and cheese tray and some chips we could use to reset the palate between drinks. We were all given a sheet with the details on the whiskey we'd be tasting so we could make notes. We went one by one and offered our tasting notes and opinions. Our task was to select 4-6 of the barrels for release in Ohio. The OHLQ rep took notes and facilitated the tasting. 

As with any tasting, there wasn't universal agreement, but it was a fun discussion to rank and pick our top selections. In the end, we reached consensus. If I recall, I had stars by barrels 19-181 and 19-186 as my top two and both will make it Ohio when the Old Pepper Single Barrels are announced and available. I was impressed with how smooth everything went and was honored to be selected to participate (I'm such a famous influencer!!!). 

As always, if you have any questions that I didn't answer or address, drop a note in the comment box below. 

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