Review No.102. Old Forester Bourbon

The last time I commented on bourbon (see article 9), I made of the point about how limited the category in terms of flavour profile.  That does not mean that I am not a fan of bourbons, in fact I always have a bottled stocked on my shelf (most often Eagle Rare 10).  It also means that I have not stopped trying new bourbons, I still like to try something different every now but not at the same rate as I do with single malts.  This Old Forester has been on the shelves of one of the major UK supermarkets for a while and I have been curious to try it out, it was and I think still is priced around the £30-£35 price bracket which is similar to Eagle Rare 10 and I am very mindful that I can’t always get hold of my go to bourbons (Eagle Rare 10, Four Roses Small Batch, Elijah Craig Small Batch) all the time so I am on the lookout for a backup bourbon that is readily available and not too expensive.


Whisky: Old Forester Bourbon, 43%

Nose: Alcohol, nail polish remover, vanilla, dark fruits, cloves

Taste: Vanilla, pepper spice, leather, cinnamon, alcohol

Finish: Cinnamon and pepper, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak

Score: 3

Summary: This is an interesting bourbon in that there is a lot of bite and spice to this.  I would describe it as a mix of Jim Beam White and Four Roses Small Batch. I did not know at the time but I am led to believe that there is high rye content in this Old Forester.  This explains the spice but it does not explain the alcohol heat that I was getting.  This had a certain kick to it beyond what you would expect for 43% – maybe the it’s the result of the rye and alcohol inter-playing with one another.  Once I had got use to this I didn’t mind the bite and spice so much and eventually became to enjoy it.  I am not a fan of rye but the Old Forester has given me something to think about.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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