Sunday, October 23, 2016

Old Forester 1920 Review

In general, Brown-Forman whiskies don't do much for me. Woodford Reserve is very meh and their special editions are the epitome of shelf turdz. Jack Daniels tastes like overly ripe bananas. Old Forester Signature 100 is decent enough as a budget pour but the Birthday Bourbon series is a bitter acetone bomb to me. Because of that, I've steered clear of the Old Forester Whiskey Row series up to this point. Recently though there was some chatter on social media that the latest 1920 release was really good, perhaps better than Birthday Bourbon. Those statements and the proof convinced me it was worth taking a chance on it.
No Age Statement; 57.5% ABV; $60
Nose: Rye spice, bubble yum gum, molasses, leather, and a decent amount of oak. Smells like a classic, rye based, moderately aged bourbon. With 30 minutes of airtime it's not that hot considering the high-ish proof. 
Taste: Mostly the same notes from the nose. There's a nice upfront sweetness, a good amount of oak depth in the middle, and a spicy finish. The sweets have touches of youth to them with some fruity banana bubble gum. That fruitiness carries through to the finish which when combined with the spice ends up something like warm cherry Dr. Pepper. I'm guessing this averages about 7-8 years old with some slightly younger and a bit of older whiskey in the mix. 
Thoughts: I went into this with low expectations but it really surprised me. This is without a doubt my favorite Brown-Forman bourbon ever. Granted, that's a low bar but there's a lot to like here. It's a tasty balance of sweet and spicy, the proof is respectable, it's not overly young, and it should be relatively easy to find. At this price point it's not something you would buy as an everyday sipper nor is it really bunker quality but it's worth buying at least once for something different. 
Rating: B
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

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