Old Forester Classic 86 Proof

Verdict: Good value for the money

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Old Forester, like all great brands, has an interesting history. It has been on the market since 1873 and is touted as the longest continuously marketed bourbon. During Prohibition (1920 – 1933) it was one of the 10 brands that could legally produce liquor (for medicinal purposes only, of course). It was also the first bourbon to come in a bottle. Before that bourbon was delivered in barrels and served from decanters.

I tried Old Forester at my friend’s man cave last night. It was the only bourbon he had and the garage (complete with a replica “leg lamp” from A Christmas Story) was a perfect venue for our mission.

It was a really hot night so we decided that adding a few ice cubes was appropriate. The bourbon itself had a good color and medium body. The taste was very subtle – not too sharp and not a lot of sweetness. You get a hint of oak and some interesting spices, but the flavors are really delicate. Although I typically like a bit more sweetness in my bourbons, the ice cubes mellowed the flavor after a few minutes which made it very drinkable.

The bottle design was apparently updated recently and, although this version is more contemporary than the previous, it doesn’t knock me over. I would love to see the labeling simplified.

All and all, I would consider Old Forester a good basic bourbon. It’s a great value for the money and it would be a fine choice for a casual cocktail or a hot night in the garage.



Last updated: July 20, 2011
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