To celebrate the birthday of the company’s founder, George Garvin, Brown-Forman announced the release of the 2019 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. The whiskey is 105 proof, an increase over last year’s bourbon’s 101 proof, making it the highest proof to date, and the 19th consecutive iteration.
“Birthday Bourbon selections have ranged from nine- to 14-years-old since the expression first launched in 2002,” explains Jackie Zykan, Older Forester Master Taster. “When selecting the barrels for this year, we found something truly exceptional in this lot and we’re proud to call it our 2019 Birthday Bourbon.” The “something truly exceptional” was found in 120 barrels that were originally distilled on May 15, 2008.
The barrels were aged on the second floor of Warehouse I, where Master Distiller Chris Morris and Zykan found them. “September is a special month for us at Old Forester,” states Campbell Brown, Old Forester President. “We get to mark, in a public manner, through a carefully curated expression, the bourbon my great, great grandfather founded. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the legacy George left behind. And yes, I wish it was easier to locate!”
The 2019 Birthday Bourbon tastes of rich oak spice and black currant coupled with light maple, caramel cake, and white floral notes. The bourbon finishes off with a peppermint tea sweetened with honey and a long Szechuan peppercorn flavour. It has a raw honey colour and an aroma of butterscotch and toffee, with a touch of sweet melon and cornbread.
Depending on what the final yield is, some 2,200 cases with six bottles will be made available for purchase in September, with a suggested retail price of USD$99.99. Seems like a great gift for any birthday, but especially one that marks the life work of a dedicated distiller.