Brown-Forman Tasting Notes

Posted: March 20, 2013 in American Whiskies, Bourbon

Old Forester 43%

72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

Tasted: Mar 2014

The aromas are soft, sweet and quite earthy. Fairly corn fat with hints of crystallised orange, liquorice, treacle-toffee and honey. The spicy rye comes through with some vigour and eventually dominates with an edgy herbalness.

The palate opens with some milky vanilla cream custard and fat corn. A lot sweeter than the nose would suggest and the rye doesn’t quite have the same impact. Hints of toasted caramel, herbal rye and a building earthiness. Slightly dusty, herbal finish with an earthy after-taste.

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style 57.5%

Tasted: Oct 2016

Nose: Dusty, earthy, peppery spice with slightly bbq singed maple syrup coated apple, balsamic red cherries and herbal rye. Chunky yet subtle oak adds structure and late cinnamon notes.

Palate: Monumental chunks of grippy oak countered by a serious weight of juicy treacle and cherry fruit. Hints of both herbal and spicy rye follow along with rose petal marc, leather and a little alcohol related astringency.

Finish: A little masked but displaying some lovely silky marzipan, dark chocolate and rose petal marc notes.

Conclusion: A great dram to finish the evening with!

Old Forester ‘Birthday Bourbon’, 12 year old 48.5%

This year’s vintage release of Old Forester is crafted from an 82 barrel batch, selected from a single day of production. That day’s mash bill had 2% extra malt added to the fermenter resulting in the creation of a more nutty spirit,” said Chris Morris, Brown-Forman Master Distiller.

Nose: Dark aromas of midnight violets, tangy citrus and grippy rye. Light rose petal marc mingles with the most luscious butter French-ish oak imaginable. In saying that the nose is still quite austere and the oak quite light so the spirit revels in its light herbal coffee character. Water emphasises the orange notes and oils but lessens the already light oak.

Palate: Opens with the soft violety rye along with hints of burnt biscuit, caramel and toffee. Again not a huge amount of oak but the tannins build along with a quite pronounced rose petal marc note. Water makes the palate simpler and just like the nose.

Finish: Very dry and very bitter. Water doesn’t make much of a change.

Conclusion: A pleasant, well-made bourbon even if it is slightly lacking in the oak department. Quite bitter too.

Old Forester 12 year Old Birthday Bourbon 48.5%

Tasted: Jan 2015

Nose: Pungent aromas of edgy citrus laced oak with hints of mandarin and orange followed by thick corn and light gingery spiced rye. The oak becomes monumentally thick but the citrus keeps the aromas fresh. Very impressive.  

Palate: Slightly smoky with big, chunky oak. The citrus and alcohol balance and hints of corn, earth and spicy rye follow. The rye becomes increasingly herbal and the intensity is once again very impressive.  

Finish: Long and very spicy as the rye, following on the alcohol’s coat tails blows through the oak and corn. Very earthy and lightly oiled after-taste.  

Conclusion: Seriously intense and seriously impressive!



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