Old Forester - Statesman
Nose: This has a rich and satisfying, “classic” bourbon smell. There is the traditional caramel and vanilla and I also get some butterscotch. It has a very nice sweetness to it that you enjoy sniffing. It actually tickles the nose a little. Palate: Nice. It has a very satisfying mouthfeel, with just the right amount of oiliness and “oomph”. The first impression is, this is a nice sweet, rich and mellow bourbon. It has a little bit of nice rye spiciness to it, but you don’t really pick up on it until the finish, which is on the long-side of medium. It isn’t harsh nor burning and actually surprised me a bit because it was only mildly warming, mostly at the tail end. Follow-up sips bring out some citrus and cinnamon. Interestingly, each sip seemed to bring forward different accents on this one. Comment: I’m not going to lie. I’ve always been an Old Forester fan. I LOVE almost all of their Birthday Bourbons, some of which rank in my top 10. When the Statesman first came out, I liked it but was a bit disappointed and didn’t feel it was worth the money (upper $50- mid $60 range). I have to think that the bottle being opened for a while has very much helped this bourbon. I really enjoyed it more than I was expecting, based solely on memory. Which is, of course, not only a good thing, but a delightful surprise. It makes me want to sample the other Old Foresters that I liked better than this one, to see how it holds up against them. I’m usually not a fan of “gimmicky” bourbons, but since this is an advertising gimmick, not a production gimmick, it can be forgiven. This came out in 2017 as a tie-in to the movie, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, whose plot includes a spy organization headquartered in a distillery. And who doesn’t like a good spy flick? The mash bill on this is reported to be 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley. Is it 95 proof and reportedly is sourced from the “warmest places in the warehouse”.