Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2021
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Tasted September 21, 2021
So, I’ve looked for one of these for years and was never successful or willing to wait 12h in line. With prices creeping up and hopes sinking I was ready to give up on it and then one day it came out of the ether (really just off the truck with 2 other bottle that also immediately sold). Serendipity - and even more reason to celebrate because I popped this several days later with a friend for my birthday. This could best described as aggressive, yet gracefully restrained. It’s like walking right up to the edge without going over, though the earth crumbles slightly beneath your feet to remind you of the situation you are in. Rich, medium-dark amber with a thin to medium appearance being swirled in the glas. Smoking hot cherry pie, oak and lacquer lane first. Sweeter notes emerge of cinnamon roll and fruit cake with a large swath of spices that I will take my best guess in but resemble caraway, dill, anise and unmalted rye. There are funky, musty support notes of dusty books, tobacco pipe, and tarry creosote as well. Some aggressive swirling brings out those familiar OF bananas foster and maple maple syrup notes. With even more time to rest the brighter cherry and raspberry notes oddly burst forth. Wow. Nose is on par with GTS or a funkier version of ECBP B520 or Remus Reserve IV for any who have tried those. Medium mouthfeel - musk, funk, oak, oak, lacquer, wet leaves, tobacco, raisin and dried berries, char. Toward the end the brighter fruit notes show up but the empty pipe funk never fades. This is so rustic and heavy. Imagine Blanton’s, Green Spot or even Oban 14 - and then imagine the complete opposite. While I wouldn’t call this viscous or syrupy it is none the less heavy and somewhat weathered. Finish - empty tobacco pipe, dust, cinnamon, dried fruits. Simply heroic. All the dark, brooding, earthy and oak notes of Glendronach 18 with the fruit and dusty funk of a WT Masters Keep 17y BiB…. I think this has the balance of a solid Old Carter single barrel but the spice and heat are dialed back. Same with GTS but instead of the melt-your-face-off approach it stops just short, and throws in a dusty/funky element to match. I really don’t want to do this but for 12y, 104 proof and an unlikely $135 out the door this comes close to how I would take my ideal bourbon. The price is still more than I would like but the only real comp at that price and degree of complexity, if you win the bourbon lottery, is GTS. Neither are worth the $500-900 on the secondary but both are worth a $50 pour at least once in life. This gets a probationary 5.0 from me. Here is to another year!
120.0 USD per Bottle