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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Old Forester Announces 150th Anniversary Bourbon Batches

Brown-Forman owned brand Old Forester has announced a new bourbon celebrating their 150th anniversary. This upcoming release is made up of three batches, all unfiltered and each bottled at individual batch strength and scheduled to arrive in October of this year. 

Campbell Brown, Old Forester President and Fifth-Generation Brown Family Member says: 

This special bourbon has been in the works for some time now, and while it is exciting for our family and colleagues, I hope the larger Old Forester family - the bourbon lovers and fans - will appreciate it just as much. My great-great grandfather had quite the vision for his whisky. He was bringing something to the market that had previously not existed and today, we instill his legacy of ingenuity in everything we do - especially in the halls at Old Forester Distilling Co., in the same building George ran the business in the early days of the company.

For this limited release, the bourbon is bottled in an amber glass bottle, reminiscent of the hand-blown glass of George Garvin Brown's day (who founded Old Forester in 1870), and will come in a commemorative canister. For this release, 150 barrels were set aside by Master Distiller Chris Morris and individually tasted by Master Taster Jackie Zykan and separated by-hand into three distinct batches, differing in proof and flavor profile. MSRP is $150 per bottle. 

The tasting notes for each batch are:

Batch 01/03 - 125.6 proof/62.8% ABV, comprised of 46 barrels; fruit bomb
Nose: maple syrup and perfectly ripe orchard fruits, apricot and plum
Mid: açaí and black current
Finish: graham cracker, subtle peppermint, long well-rounded spice, moderately dry

Batch 02/03 - 126.4 proof/63.2% ABV, comprised of 48 barrels; sweet and spry
Nose: cherry cordial and raspberry preserves
Mid: French toast and chocolate malt
Finish: brilliant and perky spice at the front of the palate, touch of cedar, mildly dry

Batch 03/03 - 126.8 proof/63.4% ABV, comprised of 53 barrels; green and spice
Nose: dill and bright orange peel, hint of light brown sugar
Mid: sweetens in the middle to melon and pine
Finish: medium dry, tingling green peppercorns, rosemary, grapefruit peel, and lingering anise

My Take

In writing this article, I learned that Old Forester was the first bourbon sold exclusively in sealed bottles. And... according to Wikipedia, it was first bottled and marketed in 1870 by the former pharmaceutical salesman turned bourbon-merchant George Garvin Brown so that's pretty cool... Knowing truly is half the battle. 

In terms of this release, $150 is a lot to spend on a bottle, but Old Forester makes some very sought-after bourbons (specifically, their Birthday Bourbon) and this could be another example of one. If you are a collector or looking for a special bottle (or 3), these are a great option. The bottles aren't listed on the State website so I have no idea if these will make their way to Ohio, but if they do, they're definitely worth giving a look. 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

Source: Brown-Forman

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