This is the third in Brown-Forman’s “Whiskey Row Series” of Old Forester expressions. The first was called Old Forester 1870 and was released at 90 proof since that was the proof the original bottling of the brand in 1870. The second was Old Forester 1897 and was Bottled-in-Bond. This third expression if bottled at 115 proof. According to the neck tag the reason for 115 proof is that during prohibition Old Forester came out of the barrel at 115 proof. It sounds like marketing spin to me. No matter the reason, I like the 115 proof. It makes for a more full bodied and flavorful Bourbon.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style
Nose: Caramel, vanilla and bananas with a bit of baking spice and oak. Matt is getting caramel and oak. Luke is getting alcohol with some earthiness with vanilla and oak.
Taste: Rich caramel, banana with a hint of chocolate and nuts with some baking spices and oak. Matt is getting pepper and leather with some burn going down but sweet vanilla after the burn. Luke is getting hot up front but oaky and peppery. Tasted with a cranberry the banana is gone and the spice is increased and becomes more peppery. Matt is getting lessens the burn and the pepper. Luke finds the makes it more fruity and less oaky Tasted with a pecan The caramel is diminished but a nice citrus fruit comes forward with less spice and more oak. Matt finds the pecan leathery with a burn from the oak tannins and less vanilla and caramel.
Finish: Dry oak and baking spices. Matt is getting a little vanilla and leather. Luke is getting char from the barrel and sweetness from the caramel. Matt finds the finish very fruity with cherries and vanilla. Luke finds the finish with the cranberry less spicy and sweet. Luke is getting the heat and the alcohol with the oak tannins. The cranberry makes the finish very peppery and dry. The pecan makes the finish very dry and oaky. Matt finds the pecan brings forward the oak and char smoke. Luke finds the pecan makes the finish longer and drier.
Notes: I like this Bourbon a lot. It is multifaceted and complex. It will pair well with many different flavors. Today I am pairing this with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro. The smoke brings out the caramel and chocolate of the Bourbon while the Bourbon adds a nice sweet honey flavor to the smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach