115 Proof, Age: NAS
Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Old Forester was one of those whiskies I never thought that much about, until I started doing these reviews—and then started hearing great things about quite a few of their expressions. (I’m hoping to find a birthday bourbon this weekend, and stay tuned for the “The Statesmen” review coming soon.) The 1920 Prohibition Style is part of Old Foresters Whiskey Row Series. The legend goes that Brown-Forman, maker of Old Forester, was one of only six distilleries allowed to operate during Prohibition (for medicinal purposes, of course) and this expression matches the usual barrel proofs of that bourbon after maturity.
As soon as it hit the glass, the 1920 leapt out with a strong bouquet of cherry, orange zest and spice that almost carried across the room.
A dark mahogany with long, luxurious, supple legs
Taking the first sip straight and neat, it presented a burning heat, masking lots of spice and a bit of leather. After giving it a drop of water and letting it breathe, she opened up and revealed a lot of depth and complexity. There was dark chocolate, and bitter cherries hinted at by the nose. A very dry finish, and an aftertaste of tobacco to complement the leather. It struck me as good bourbon for an old school robber baron. Sharp, strong, deep, dark, and little musty like a well-loved library.
I was thoroughly impressed, definitely distinct and unique. Really old school, not a modern bourbon. Some other reviews I’ve seen compare it to the early Birthday Bourbons, and even say it’s better than the recent releases. I look forward to making the comparison myself. It’s an interesting cousin to the Statesmen, too.