George Garvin Brown may have been born September 2, 1846 but according to the way Old Forester Distillery counts his birthday, it’s time to celebrate the 18th with this year’s release of Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon.
An Old Forester Bourbon Homecoming
The 2018 Birthday Bourbon is the first iteration to be bottled at the new Old Forester Distillery, located on Louisville, Kentucky’s historic Whiskey Row – in the same space that George Garvin Brown and Old Forester called home before Prohibition.
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After 12 Years, Out of 120 Barrels, 5 Were Totally Empty
Selected from a single day of production and handcrafted by Master Distiller Chris Morris and Master Taster Jackie Zykan, this small batch bourbon offers a one-of-a-kind character and flavor profile. A total of 120 barrels, distilled on June 9, 2006, were marked for this year’s 12 year old Birthday Bourbon release. They were drawn from two locations in the barrel warehouse. 93 barrels matured together on the 3rd floor on the northwest side of Warehouse J and the remaining 27 barrels matured together on the 3rd floor, northwest side of Warehouse I. The angels opted for a hearty share of 2018 Birthday Bourbon – the total yield was just 39 percent and five barrels were found to be totally empty. What was left for bottling made it in to those bottles at a hardy 101° proof, the highest to date for this annually released bourbon.
Tasting Notes from Old Forester Master Taster, Jackie Zykan
“I find this year’s expression to possess a flavor profile perfectly aligned with the time of year in which it is released – days are subtly shortening, and we find ourselves indulging on the last remnants summer has to offer, all the while longing for the upcoming autumn transition – like a late summer evening at a lake house, enjoying a cherry cobbler, speckled with crunchy toasted almonds, still perfectly residually warm from the oven; sipping a tepid hot toddy, lemon wheel lazily floating in the mug as the stars begin to present themselves across the falling night sky.”
Color: Rich Mahogany.
Nose: Singularly focused initially, with a pronounced rich dark cherry cobbler note; opens into a dynamic build of caramel and dark chocolate covered smoked almond nuttiness with hints of charred oak; a touch of herbal lemon tea, sweetened with a touch of honey rounds out its depth of character.
Taste: Subtle sweetness blossoms into a warm and green spiced multi-dimensional experience, brightened by a lemon honey note followed by cherry cobbler.
Finish: Long and drying, with an herbal lemon honey sweetness.
Old Forester is Brown-Forman’s founding brand, founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown. The 2018 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon produced approximately 14,400 bottles at 101° proof (50.5% ABV) and has a has a suggested retail price of $99.99.
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