Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Each year on September 2nd – in honor of the founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday – Old Forester releases a limited-edition, 12-year old vintage-dated expression. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has become a must-have for bourbon enthusiasts who want to experience the ultimate in rare handcrafted bourbon. Since its introduction in 2002, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has received unprecedented acclaim, with an impressive collection of national and international whiskey honors.
The 2017 Birthday Bourbonwas drawn from 12 year old barrels from different warehouses and floors. A total of 120 barrels; 93 barrels matured together on the 4th floor of G warehouse, yielding an extremely spice forward expression. The remaining 27 barrels matured together on the 5th floor of K warehouse contributing a rounding sweetness to the blend. Several barrels from both lots basked in the sun, highlighting the effects of maturation along an external wall. Mulled spice sweetness and fruity with bright citrus peel highlights. Finish is long and warm with mulled fruit character lingering on.
The 2016 Birthday Bourbon is fresh and fruity, definitively not woody, particularly on the nose, which exudes notes of cloves, spiced gingerbread, and muddled cherries. These pleasant aromas come alongside a more gentle, encompassing lacing of barrel notes, which feels a bit winey at times. The palate is quite luscious, offering bright cherry fruit (I was immediately reminded of Baker’s Bourbon), dark chocolate, more cloves, and a hint of licorice. The finish is drying and bittersweet, but not primarily influenced by traditional, classic barrel flavors.
The 2015 Birthday Bourbon on a nose has layers of oak, both resinous and toasted, merge with a medley of tobacco leaf, dry herbs, and nut character. Taste is warm mulled spice and nutty notes, all subtly sweetened with a touch of honey.Finish is warming and dry, with a long, smooth, nutty character.