Old Forester Barrel Strength Single Barrel Bourbon Review


Company on Label: Old Forester

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 70% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Barley

Proof: 134.9°

Age: NAS

Further identification: Warehouse G, Floor 7. Ball Sq. Family Selection Store Pick; this sample was provided to me from bourbon_fiend_and_finder on Instagram in a sample swap

 

Nose: Leather, pepper, caramel, tobacco and a dank, wet, dark oak nose. It's like oak has been drizzled in molasses. Faint fig and citrus are trying to escape the heavier notes early on. A little smoke gives a faint sting to the nostrils. Very syrupy and powerful. It's actually kind of hard to discern individual scents in this as the overall mixture of air that enters your nose is just so intense. This might be one of the very rare exceptions that a bit of water is required to fully experience this pour. Things are settling down now (without water, I'm a trooper), but the smells are still intensely spiced with cloves, some nutmeg, and a lovely brown sugar. A silky smooth vanilla does well to hide the peanut shell note I found on the palate, but I can still tell it's hiding in there. About halfway through this glass, I'd have to disagree with my first assumptions about this needing water; things have mellowed out wonderfully. The vanilla is followed by a bright wave of white canvas.


Palate: Big mint and herbal explosion forward on first sip. Immediately a rich creamy cherry mouth coating. Citrus and molasses are back. Citrus rises up with heft on strong finish like a metallic lemon zest. Rich dark chocolate is darker than any I've tried; surprisingly, despite my whiskey preferences saying otherwise, I'm actually not a big sweets guy. Pepper note is nestled perfectly into that leather & molasses base. Crazy potent flavors all through this. My only complaint might be a little too much citrus for my preferences. The aftertaste suddenly surprises me with a flash of peanut shells which immediately regains my attention. That's one of my favorite notes and a big reason you'll find me gravitating to some of the Booker's batches. This definitely drinks at a similar proof to those, clocking in at a whopping 134.9. Try taking larger sips or chews of this and you are certainly reminded of that fact. The flavors that follow are all more approachable than the initial bite. I'd say the overall feel of this has evolved from the citrusy pop of the start to a nice cherry soaked peanut shells. It reminds me of a jacked-up version of 2021-02 Booker's "Tagalong Batch". I do dig this, but think it could use just a touch more refinement to smooth some of those intense jagged edges that are present on this one before it reaches greatness. Floor 7 may just run this hot!


 

Rating: 3/5


With any single barrel or individual store pick offerings, the notes and rating in this review may not reflect the same as a different barrel selection.

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