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George Garvin Brown founded Brown-Forman and Old Forester in 1870. To commemorate Brown’s September 2nd birthday, Old Forester annually releases a special Small Batch Birthday Bourbon. 2015 marks the 14th limited edition release of the coveted 12-year-old product but the first time Birthday Bourbon is offered at 100 Proof. This truly limited edition, only includes 2,200 (6 bottle) cases will be available for purchase nationwide in September.

Q&A with Old Forester Master Distiller Chris Morris

Q: How do you choose the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon?

A: Chris (video below): “We choose the barrels that become the vintage dated Old Forester Birthday Bourbon through a series of tastings. We begin tasting barrels of Old Forester when they’re four years of age. And of course we are looking for barrels that will be going into the batches of our classic 86 Proof, of our 100 Proof Signature and while we are tasting and sampling those barrels for those batches we run across those certain days of production that are just really special, they have a flavor profile that’s not quite the norm, it’s exceptional. And we’ll allow those barrels, those lots, those dates, to retain, to remain in the warehouse, retaining their integrity in their ricks and we continue to sample them. Some just don’t quite make it to where we hope they get to and they will go into 86 Proof and 100 Proof Signature batchings.

It’s those very exceptional one’s that will go the length, usually 12 years, to go into the award winning Birthday Bourbon selection.”

“This particular lot of barrels is unusual because it matured in the same warehouse location instead of multiple sites. The lot aged near a window and close to a heat cycling duct, exposing all of the barrels to very high temperatures, resulting in the very robust, intense wood-derived characteristics exhibited by this exceptional vintage,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris.

Selected from a single day of production, this limited edition small batch bourbon is vintage-dated (June 13, 2003) – offering a one-of-a-kind character and flavor profile that will never be replicated. Its unique decanter style glass bottle is a throwback to the late 1800’s when Old Forester was first produced. Each bottle features the founder’s signature and the year in which the bourbon was barreled and bottled.

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The 2015 Birthday Bourbon joins two other 100 proof Old Forester expressions on the shelves: 100 proof Signature and newly released this summer, Whiskey Row Series 1897 Bottled in Bond.

Master Distiller Chris Morris describes the selection process for Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

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