Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon - 1870


Nose: This has a classic bourbon smell with lots of caramel and vanilla. There’s a small twinge of alcohol that comes through. Palate: This has a nice medium mouthfeel and the first sip hits with a little bit of alcohol and a nice all-bourbon richness. While it has some sweetness, it tends to be on the dark chocolate end of the spectrum. It is very chewy and leaves a pleasant aftertaste and feel in your mouth like you just ate a piece of freshly baked and very chewy bread. It has hints of molasses, some coconut and some charred oakiness. The finish on this one isn’t terribly long and doesn’t change very much from the rest of the sip. [NOTE: After finishing and reading other reviews, I have to admit that I did not pick up on the fruitiness that other reviewers got.] Comments: This is yet another in Old Forester’s very original line of bourbons based on old recipes….this one, as your might guess from the label, is based on a recipe used way back in 1870. According to the label, this is based on a recipe that George Gavin Brown crafted in the original distillery in Louisville’s “Whiskey Row”. He supposedly batched bourbon from three distilleries; Atherton in Bardstown, Mattingly in Marion, and Mellwood in Louisville. When originally released (2015), it was blended by the first female to blend a bourbon for a major distiller. Descendants of Brown are still involved in the distillery, now called Brown Foreman. SO…..this may be as close as you’re going to get in tasting a bourbon that the Cowboys of the old west might have sampled. I’m a big fan of Old Forester and my favorite of this series is the 1920, but this is a very close second. It is very inviting and just begs you to fill your glass and slowly sip at it. Which is exactly what I did. I took my time with the glass and was not disappointed. Later sips just seemed to keep getting better and better. I usually like something a bit sweeter than this is, but it makes up for it with a very deep richness of flavor that I really enjoyed. This may not be the best choice for a hot summer day (like today is already seeming to be), but on a brisk evening in January? Paradise! This is 90 proof and I found that I think that proofage is just right for this. The mashbill is 72% corn, 18%rye, 10% malted barley. My only complaint with Old Forester is that all their products, including this one, are just a tad overpriced. I suppose that is relative. I originally got this at a mid $40 price point, but Total Wine now lists it at $54. At that price, it is a border-line “must buy” and would be a good candidate for waiting for a "dollar days" sale for purchase. I like it and will probably buy another bottle when this one is empty, but I won’t be rushing to do so, unless I find a good deal on it.