Since pretty much everyone in the club is a crawling, creeping cheap-o, we all share an enduring appreciation of the value bottle. Old Forester is one of those said value selections as they produce some decent fairly stuff and request a reasonable price for it. Brown Foreman, owners of the brand, released Old Forester 1897 as a permanent expression under their “Whiskey Row” series, an attempt to highlight and celebrate bourbon heritage from the 19th century. BF goes as far as to say that 1897 is made to be “reminiscent of a 19th Century Bourbon, rich and bold in barrel character.” Marketing flourishes such as this are truly beginning to really hack me off, as this is simply a bottled in bond version of the current Old Forester already available a few bottles to the left of this one. All well, I’m just a simple guy living in someone else’s bourbon world, so what do I know? Nothing, that’s what.
The 1897 designation refers to the passing of the well beloved Bottled in Bond Act, (explained here in our Rittenhouse Rye review) a little piece of history that all of a sudden became once again a mark of quality and the surest provenance, given the NDP age we find ourselves in. The mash bill slash line of 72% Corn/18% Rye/10% Malted Barley is produced at Shively, bottled at 50%, and will run you about $50 per bottle. If the marketing accouterments justify the price increase of a bourbon not too much different from the cheaper version, then friend, you have at it. On to it…
Nose- Vanilla and honey. Candied orange. Spice cabinet with cinnamon and clove.
Taste- Green pear, popcorn, warm leather. Big on sweet with some fruit.
Finish- Butterscotch, short and sharp. Drying. Oak.
Comment- One and done, frankly. Decent enough, as we don’t mind Old Forester at all, but this one, at least today, doesn’t work very well.
SWC Rating- 78/100
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think.