Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon - Warehouse I, Floor 1 vs 8 - Head to Head




Separated by 7 floors, but only 1.5 proof... This head to head is going to be fun! I recently got one of these as a sample from @bourbondipity_ (who is also practically my neighbor) to see if I wanted to buy the bottle or not. I returned the favor with the most recent batch of Booker's so he could do the same. I wanted to have some frame of reference on if this was a good version of Old Forester barrel strength relative to another offering, so I stacked it up against a floor 1 offering that I actually am not certain about the origin. I purchased it from Lighthouse Wine & Spirits in Beverley, but when I asked who selected it, or where it came from, I couldn't get an answer. I have a feeling they bought it from someone else, or it's a private pick. If you know, please reach out as I'd love to know!


 

Boston Guys

Company on Label: Old Forester

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

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

Proof: 132.5°

Age: NAS

Further identification: Warehouse I, Floor 1; purchased from Lighthouse Wine & Spirits in mid

2021


Liquor Junction

Company on Label: Old Forester

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

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

Proof: 134°

Age: NAS

Further identification: Warehouse I, Floor 8; 2021 LJ Whiskey Family Pick


 

Boston Guys


Nose: Slightly spicy to start. Tart plum and cinnamon hots. Waxed paper and a fuzzy peach skin. Dry oak and dark chocolate powder. Staying very level and brittle, there doesn't feel like a lot of complexity to this one on the nose pre-sip. Only note presenting regularly here is a slightly toasted oak. Post-sip the fruit flavors are finally revealed and match the palate tasting notes well. The oak level is still high regardless of what notes are on top; but there is some new white pepper and butterscotch present. The butterscotch leans a little bit towards more of a marshmallow presentation late. Empty glass is cocoa powder and synthetic leather.


Palate: Actually very approachable for 132.5 proof for my first sip, a nice wave of strawberry and peach wash over my slightly warmed up palate. The mouth coating is thick with some cherry wine notes sticking to my gums. Woah, a high rising vanilla has some serious heft & powers right through my airways. This brought forth clouds of creamy sweets that really presented tastefully and not just in an overwhelming flavor-in-your-face way. The aftertaste has a touch of de-shelled salted peanuts. As I return to this glass I am greeted with a similar proof challenge as both of these build in intensity over time. The fruit in this glass feels like it is starting to turn a bit fermented as I get down towards the bottom of this pour. It's rescued a bit by smooth vanilla.


Rating: 4/5

 

Liquor Junction


Nose: Hot, but also creamy at first smell. Molasses and cloves. Rich syrupy maraschino cherries. Vanilla once the initial flames have extinguished. Woah, suddenly a strong change of pace... The cherry lightened up and is now replaced with a lightly toasted, golden marshmallow and graham cracker sitting over an oak log. Slightly tannic, but altogether intoxicating sweet aromas dance around the smores buffet. Eventually the liquid fruit scents wash over the other aromas and form a nice blanket of berry smells that coat the glass. An old spice, lightly citrus floral aroma presents very delicately late in the glass for this heavy hitter. Dusty molasses present with a sweet citrus as this glass comes to an end. I'm impressed by how many layers this had. A really deep inhale almost creates a toothpaste level of mint. By the end of the glass, I'm left with bright vanilla layered over oak. Empty glass is a wet lemon wood.


Palate: So creamy to start. There is a hard to swallow, intense cherry that floats up in the palate for a long time. It is a burning pool of proof that carries many flavors if you can stand it. Milk chocolate, raisin, fresh cherry and citrus zest. The allspice and cloves can be a bit overwhelming at times. At only 1.5 hotter, this one feels quite a bit higher in proof which is a surprising finding. The citrus and spice flavors may contribute to that more than the actual alcohol content does though. Given a little more time, things have once again mellowed out into a slightly creamy sweetness with flashes of vanilla & pepper on the corners of the tongue, and a long hug that reminds you to sip this one slow! The oak, cinnamon, brown sugar and a hint of dry tobacco form the basis for much of this profile. In a word: zing!


Rating: 4/5


 

Final Ranking: Liquor Junction > Boston Guys


You have to go into this pour expecting your taste buds to go to war, but the fun flavors picked up in each battle are some reward along the way. The intense proof imbalances at times definitely keep this from entering the 5 rating category.

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