Old Forester celebrates 150 years with new Bourbon

Brown-Forman will release a new limited edition Old Forester Bourbon in three batches next month to mark the brand’s 150th anniversary.

Old Forester was founded by George Garvin Brown in 1870. The new Bourbon pays tribute to Brown’s original process and is composed of three batches, each unfiltered and presented at a different batch strength.

“This special Bourbon has been in the works for some time now, and while it is exciting for our family and colleagues, I hope the larger Old Forester family – the Bourbon lovers and fans – will appreciate it just as much,” said Campbell Brown, Old Forester president and fifth-generation Brown family member.

“My great-great grandfather had quite the vision for his whiskey. He was bringing something to the market that had previously not existed and today, we instil his legacy of ingenuity in everything we do – especially in the halls at Old Forester Distilling Co, in the same building George ran the business in the early days of the company.”

Brown was the first to sell whiskey in sealed glass bottles and the first to commercially batch whiskey to ensure a consistent flavour profile, the brand said.

Brown originally used liquid from three distilleries – Mellwood, Mattingly and Atherton – before eventually buying the Mattingly Distillery and distilling his own whiskey.

Master distiller Chris Morris set aside 150 barrels for the new expression. Once matured, several barrels worth was lost entirely to angel’s share. The resulting liquid was tasted by master taster Jackie Zykan and separated by hand into three distinct batches, differing in ABV and flavour profile.

“We designed the expression to share our unique story,” said Zykan. “George Garvin Brown was an entrepreneur and an innovator. I have composed three unique blends to honour his process of batching from the three original distilleries. Each captures a distinct facet of the beloved Old Forester flavour profile, each upholding his highest standards of quality.”

Batch one is bottled at 62.8% ABV and comprised of 46 barrels. One the nose, it has notes of maple syrup, ripe orchard fruits, apricot and plum, with a finish of peppermint and spice.

The second batch (63.2% ABV) comprised of 48 barrels and provided an aroma of cherry cordial and raspberry preserves.

Finally, batch three carries an ABV of 63.4% and is comprised of 43 barrels. It presents dill, orange peel and brown sugar on the nose, followed by a medium dry finish with tingling green peppercorns, rosemary, grapefruit peel, and anise.

The new whiskey comes in a amber glass bottle, reminiscent of the hand blown glass used by Brown, and will be packaged in a commemorative gift box.

Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon will be released in the US in October 2020, priced at RRP US$150.

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Timothy Kelly

Tim is the Founder & Master Distiller at Felene. He developed his passion for the spirits and hospitality business while growing-up and working in his family's restaurant and liquor store business. Tim’s passion for the epicurean lifestyle has found it’s latest manifestation in the Felene Distillery. Tim is a 5-time Gold Medal Award winning Distiller. He has won a Platinum medal at the Prestigious Los Angeles Spirits Awards and his signature vodka was named Best-in-Category by the American Distilling Institute. Mr. Kelly is also a prolific author and writer and his blog is filled with ideas, discoveries, observations and recommendations to help his readers enjoy life’s simple epicurean pleasures.

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