Brown-Forman celebrates 150 years in business this year, a legacy began in 1870 when George Garvin Brown began sealing and selling his own whisky, Old Forester, exclusively in a glass bottle.
Old Forester now salutes this industry-changing innovation with the launch of Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon.
The new launch references Brown’s original process, composed of three batches, unfiltered, with each presented at individual batch strength. This limited-release is presented in an amber glass bottle, reminiscent of the hand-blown glass of George’s day, the company says, and will come in a commemorative canister.
“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,” says Campbell Brown, Old Forester president and fifth-generation Brown family member. “My great-great grandfather had quite the vision for his whisky. He was bringing something to the market that had previously not existed and today, we instill 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.”
For the Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon, 150 barrels were chosen by Master Distiller Chris Morris and set aside for this limited-release product. At maturity, several barrels lost their full contents to the Angel’s Share, the company reports. The resulting aged liquid was tasted by Master Taster Jackie Zykan and separated into three distinct batches, differing in proof and flavor profile.
“We designed the expression to share our unique story,” says Zykan. “George Garvin Brown was an entrepreneur and an innovator. I have composed three unique blends to honor his process of batching from the three original distilleries. Each captures a distinct facet of the beloved Old Forester flavor profile, each upholding his highest standards of quality.”
Distillery-provided tasting notes for the three batches of Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon are as follows
- Batch 01/03 – 125.6 proof/62.8% ABV, comprised of 46 barrels; fruit bomb. Nose: maple syrup and perfectly ripe orchard fruits, apricot and plum. Mid: açaí and black current. Finish: graham cracker, subtle peppermint, long well-rounded spice, moderately dry
- Batch 02/03 – 126.4 proof/63.2% ABV, comprised of 48 barrels; sweet and spry. Nose: cherry cordial and raspberry preserves. Mid: French toast and chocolate malt. Finish: brilliant and perky spice at the front of the palate, touch of cedar, mildly dry
- Batch 03/03 – 126.8 proof/63.4% ABV, comprised of 53 barrels; green and spice. Nose: dill and bright orange peel, hint of light brown sugar. Mid: sweetens in the middle to melon and pine. Finish: medium dry, tingling green peppercorns, rosemary, grapefruit peel, and lingering anise
A limited number of cases will be available nationally in October 2020 for a suggested retail price of $150 per 750-ml. bottle.