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Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon Review

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Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon honors George Garvin Brown’s original process and represents a collaboration between Master Distiller Chris Morris and Master Taster Jackie Zykan. This expression consists of 150 barrels chosen specially by Chris, made from wood seasoned 150 days. Old Forester Distillery
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OLD FORESTER 150TH ANNIVERSARY BOURBON BATCH 2


NOSE: Bold and Inviting | Cherry Coke | Dark Chocolate | Real Candied Orange Slice

TASTE: Cooked Dark Fruits | Tobacco | Leather | Round and Complex

FINISH: Long, mellow and earthy

SHARE WITH: American whiskey fans who like bold spirits

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes, and especially in this red-hot market where so many bottles are priced higher and deliver less of an experience.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle

OVERALL: Don’t let the potent proof fool you, this bourbon can be rolled around the mouth and savored. The finish on it is beautiful, silken and long; it’s a real pleasure to drink. This is Old Forester at its purest, boldest, most enticing and exciting. It’s why I love (most iterations) of this brand.

There are three batches in this 150th Anniversary release, and my sample was just Batch 2. Check out the Brand Notes section of this review to see Old Forester’s notes on Batch 1 and Batch 3. Very different from Batch 2.

Learn more about Steve’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Old Forester Celebrates 150-Year-History with Limited-Edition Bourbon Release

The new release comes in an amber glass bottle, paying homage to the First Bottled Bourbon™ as the brand looks ahead to a bright future

LOUISVILLE, Ky.Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1870, George Garvin Brown changed the spirits industry forever when he sealed and sold his whisky – Old Forester – exclusively in a glass bottle. Each bottle was adorned with his signature, a personal guarantee of the brand's quality and consistency. Today, 150 years later, Old Forester announces the upcoming release of Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon to commemorate his act of ingenuity, honor his legacy and celebrate the history of the First Bottled BourbonTM.

Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon references George's original process, composed of three batches, unfiltered* and each presented at individual batch strength. The limited release is presented in an amber glass bottle, reminiscent of the hand-blown glass of George's day, and will come in a commemorative canister. It's planned for release in October 2020.

"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," said Campbell Brown, Old Forester President and Fifth-Generation Brown Family Member. "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."

In the 150 years since George's started the company, the brand has endured 13 years of Prohibition, World Wars, changing consumer palates and industry consolidations. Today, Old Forester remains the only brand with an uninterrupted 150-year history, sold by the same family company before, during and after Prohibition.

George's act of selling whisky exclusively in a sealed bottle was innovative at a time when most whisky was sold by the barrel and subject to adulteration prior to reaching the consumer. Predating any modern food safety acts, he helped lead an industry on the path to rigorous self-regulation that is still upheld today. In addition to being the first to exclusively sell whisky in sealed glass bottles, George was the first to commercially batch whisky to ensure a consistent flavor profile. At the time, he batched from three distilleries – Mellwood, Mattingly and Atherton – before eventually acquiring the Mattingly Distillery and distilling his own whisky.

For the Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon, 150 barrels were chosen by Master Distiller Chris Morris and set aside for this limited-release product. At maturity, several barrels lost their full contents to the Angel's Share. The resulting aged liquid was personally and individually tasted by Master Taster Jackie Zykan and separated by-hand into three distinct batches, differing in proof and flavor profile.

"We designed the expression to share our unique story," said Jackie Zykan, Old Forester Master Taster. "George Garvin Brown was an entrepreneur and an innovator. I have composed three unique blends to honor his process of batching from the three original distilleries. Each captures a distinct facet of the beloved Old Forester flavor profile, each upholding his highest standards of quality."

A limited number of cases will be available nationally in October 2020 for a suggested retail price of $150. To learn where you can purchase Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon, check out OldForester.com for a retailer near you.


Disclaimer: Old Forester provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 29-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.
Read Steve's full profile.

About the Author
Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes

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Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 29-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter. Read Steve's full profile.