This twice-barreled bourbon comes to us from the legendary lineup of Old Forester 'Whiskey Row' bourbons. I've long wondered how I'd rank this up against 1920 - a whiskey I know and love. I've always thought this to be the more tannic sister to that release, but never ventured into a writing anything down on this bottle.
Old Forester's website describes the history behind this release, saying:
On October 22nd. 1910, a fire on the bottling line halted production of Old Forester. Mature whisky ready to be bottled, instead was stored in a secondary barrel. What emerged was a delightful whisky, remarkable enough to become an entirely new expressions – Old Fine Whisky.
Today mimicking this historic bottling, this unique expression of Old Forester has undergone a second barreling, granting it exceptional character, a smooth and sweet flavor and a clean, crisp finish. Entering the second barrel at a low 100 proof allows more of the sweet wood sugars to dissolve into the whiskey. 1910 Old Fine Whiskey is the fourth and final expression of the Whiskey Row Series, presented at 93 proof.
A cult favorite experiment is to mix this in equal parts with 1920 to create '1915'; let me know if the comments if you have ever tried that & if I should give it a go too!
Company on Label: Old Forester Distilling Company (owned by Brown-Forman)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Barley
Further identification: This is the old style label 1910 that had the words 'Old Fine Whisky' overlayed with the explanation body of text
Nose: I can smell the candy sweetness coming off this glass from quite a distance. Port wine ladened oak and marshmallow jump out at me first. Leather, plum and raspberry sit in the nostrils strongly with a hint of something synthetic tying everything together. A swirl of the glass releases a huge wave of black pepper, chocolate and allspice. Nutmeg settles back in quickly after the explosive effects of the perturbations of the glass subside. A glutton for punishment, I swirl again... This time drying vanilla and heavy charcoal char jump out at me. It is so drying it stings the back of my throat slightly, forcing a sip of water before even getting into tasting. Light, tranquil raspberry continues to be the dominant fruit. Let's jump down into a sip now.
Returning I continue to find a lot of wood tones. A dusty funk forces me to sneeze. Herbal green tea with just a hint of lemon begins to sit in the low glass. The empty glass smells metallic alongside honey and overnight oats.
Palate: This is incredibly fruit forward on first sip. I get creamy plum, raspberry and dried cherries. The linger is short and drying as the nose was also eliciting. Another sip is quite tannic with dark jams interlacing with herbal notes now. A slight raisin flavor introduces a new found spice I wasn't prepared for. Nutmeg meets butter... oddly. Again I return to a plum, raspberry and cherry medley as the glass starts to get lower. My last sip is all wine tannins and chocolate. Dry cornbread, plum and molasses mix nicely in the linger which is still short despite having a handful of sips to build up some backbone.
While there is great volume of flavors on this pour and a nice array of different characteristics a whiskey drinker can pull out of this pour, I don't think the overall storyline of this glass is quite cohesive. It seems to just throw things at you at any given moment and never feels like it has a true purpose. I think whiskey drinkers new and old can find something to love in this glass, but I couldn't see it as my personal daily sipper (hence why I am still drinking the old label before they updated their artwork!). Let me know below if you agree or disagree with my rating. Cheers!