Old Forester Single Barrel Bourbon 90 Proof
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Tasted September 16, 2021
You see: that’s the thing about store picks. Sometimes one store picks an awesome barrel while other stores pick terrible ones. Sometimes one store you trust picks a damn good barrel from Buffalo Trace (perhaps the best new whiskey I tried in 2020), and then immediately after picks an Old Forrester barrel that is the worst OF juice you’ve ever had. This is from floor 1, warehouse L. The nose smells older than this whiskey could possibly be. There’s a musty, leathery smell that reminds me of flavors in Rhetoric. There’s lemon, caramel, maple syrup, vanilla. Bourbon standard, inoffensive. Body hits with that leather, and a bitterness that I find extremely unpleasant. It’s just pure bitterness for bitterness’s sake. I can’t tie it to a specific flavor. There’s vanilla and butterscotch too, but that bitterness takes the main profile. Finish presents chocolate, mild pepper, and maple syrup. I don’t hate the finish, although I very much hate the journey you have to take to get to it. I generally like Old Forrester juice. I generally appreciate store picks. This is such a bizarre thing for a store to pick out of what I know of the OF portfolio, that I’m marginally convinced that there’s a genetic component in play here. Perhaps someone else’s tongue doesn’t get Spartan-kicked by that bitterness on the body. There are flavors involved, both on the nose and on the finish, that I really like in my bourbons. If I could just skip the body on this one, I think I’d have something that I decently like. But as it is, I would never buy another one of this pick. Ever. I’ve never had to say that about an OF product or a store pick, especially from this store.