Tasting Notes for Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Nose: An intense medley of cherry preserves, drippy caramel, dark chocolate, thickened maple syrup and seasoned oak spiciness.
Taste: Dark caramel coats layers of malt nuttiness and sweet graham cracker all warmed by green peppercorn and coriander spice brightened with a hint of cedar.
Finish: Tart apple crispness gives way to a long smoky finish full of toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker sweetness.
The Volstead Act of 1920 which initiated Prohibition in the USA granted permits to six distillers in Kentucky to continue to bottle bourbon for medicinal purposes. Through one of these permits, Old Forester continued to be produced as medicinal whiskey on Louisville’s famed Whiskey Row. It is the only bourbon continuously sold by the same company that has been available for sale before, during and after Prohibition.
During this time, all whiskies had to be bottled at 100 Proof. With a barrel entry proof of 100, the “angel’s share” would have created a 115 proof whiskey after maturation. To pay homage to this era, Old Forester presents 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon at 115 proof to represent the rich flavor profile this bourbon had nearly 100 years ago.
Old Forester was founded by George Garvin Brown in 1870 when he created the first bottled bourbon, Old Forester, in 1870. Old Forester is created by George Garvin Brown and named after Dr. William Forrester, who was a famour field doctor at the time. To guarantee consistency George batches bourbon from three nearby distilleries: Mattingly, Mellwood, and Atherton. He seals his whiskey exclusively in glass bottles and signs each bottle as his personal guarantee of its quality.
The U.S. Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 required that bourbon come from one distillery and one distilling season, George Garvin Brown purchases the Mattingly Distillery in 1901.
In 1910, a fire on the bottling line shut down production. Old Forester, which had been dumped and was ready to bottle instead went into a second barrel while the line was repaired. Leading Old Forester to create and sell “Very Old Fine Whisky” the first double-barreled bourbon. The distillery survived the prohibition years when it was granted one of only 10 licenses to produce medicinal whisky, and during the second world war, contributed to the war effort by converting 100% of it's production to industrial ethanol.
The distillery is still run by the Brown family to this day, and in Spring 2015, Campbell Brown, 5th generation Brown Family member, was named as the President and Managing Director of Old Forester following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather.
What sets Brown-Forman and their brands apart from other distilleries is not only the claim to having the longest running Bourbon on the market today, but also their ownership of their entire whisky production process from the cooperages making their barrels, to the equipment and structures involved in distillation, barrelling, ageing, and bottling their brands. When creating Old Forester consistency is key and achieving the required level depends on several key factors including barrels made to an exact level of toast and char, the use of a proprietary yeast strain, a signature high rye mashbill, heat cycled warehouses, and a large tasting panel that approve every batch after Master Blender Jacky Zykan has done her magic. Old Forester has only had 3 Master Distillers since 1963 which has helped to keep things consistent across the board.
Producer Brown-Forman Style Kentucky Straight Bourbon Age No age statement Volume 75CL ABV 57.5%