Old Forester 1924 (2024)


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Brown-Forman

Distillery: Brown-Forman Shively Distillery

Release Date: January 2024 (Annual Release)

Proof: 100

Age: 10 Years

Mashbill: 79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

Color: Caramel

MSRP: $115 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Press Release

Old Forester 1924 is the fifth release in the company’s Whiskey Row Series. It follows 1870 Original Batch (2014), 1897 Bottled in Bond (2015), 1910 Old Fine Whisky (2018), 1920 Prohibition Style (2017). Old Forester 1924 features ​a new mashbill for the company: 79% corn, 11% rye, and 10% malted barley, and sports a 10 year age statement. According to Old Forester, “During Prohibition, more than 200 distilleries in Kentucky alone were forced to close. Old Forester, however, continued operations because the federal government issued it one of six permits to bottle existing whiskey stocks as medicine. In 1924, Old Forester acquired barrels from closed distillers, with different mash bills, and bottled that liquid as Old Forester.” Old Forester 1924 will be an annual limited release. No bottle count was given for its first release.


The aroma opens with a delightful apple cider scent that features a slight poke of apple cider vinegar for contrast. It immediately transitions to rich, creamy butterscotch with a strong cranberry undertow. This alone makes a statement before the addition of black cherry and prune join in. To cap it off, seasoned oak grounds the aroma with the help of hazelnut and tobacco. It’s an opening that is extremely effective, well-balanced, and immediately gratifying.


The bourbon’s creamy mouthfeel is instantly noticeable as it delivers an enjoyable blend of red currant, cranberry, and plum. There’s a layer of graham cracker and light maple woven throughout that adds fleeting but necessary moments of contrast. Leaning towards elegance over potency, the bourbon is more straightforward versus complex, but works well nevertheless. It’s an easy-sipper first and foremost, wearing its heart on its sleeve.


The bourbon’s red fruits shift to raspberry, and the sip turns mildly dry. Oak becomes the dominating flavor trait, with fleeting hints of graham cracker, barrel char, and allspice. It finishes a bit hot given its proof, which further enhances its dry and oaky traits. There’s just enough to keep the finish interesting, though, like the palate, it's largely a straight shooter.


Old Forester 1924 features an interesting backstory and captures a moment in time for the distillery. With their hands tied thanks to Prohibition, the company was forced to be creative and sourced bourbon from other distilleries. Though one has to wonder if anyone at the time noticed or even cared that Old Forester bourbon was a blend of other distilleries’ products. It definitely would have been more shocking if Old Forester tried something similar to that with Old Forester 1924, but given the current day’s economics and business practices, it's a bit nonsensical to think something like that would ever happen again.

Old Forester 1924 isn’t without something noteworthy to offer though, as it features ​a new mashbill for the Old Forester lineup: 79% corn, 11% rye, and 10% malted barley. Interestingly, this is the same mashbill Brown-Forman uses for Early Times. It’s always exciting when a major Kentucky brand with their set-in-stone mashbills introduces something different to shake things up. Though with Old Forester’s standard mashbill being 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, the difference isn’t considerable, and I wonder if the majority of bourbon drinkers will be able to tell the difference.

Finally, and perhaps the most noteworthy of what Old Forester 1924 has to offer, is a 10 year old age statement. Granted, many age statements have begun to return, and there certainly isn’t a lack of 10 year old MGP bourbon in the marketplace, but what’s interesting is Old  Forester 1924 is another annual release from a major Kentucky distillery that now features a double-digit age statement. Old Forester’s Whiskey Row Series have all been year-round ongoing releases, which makes 1924 the odd man out of the bunch. There’s hope the series will have much more availability than we get from, say, Wild Turkey and Four Roses age-stated releases or even other Brown-Forman products such as Birthday Bourbon and King of Kentucky.  

Tastewise, Old Forester 1924 falls in line with the brand’s portfolio. It offers a slight tweak to its typical flavor profile but still remains Old Forester through and through. Some of the brand’s typical red fruit notes have been adjusted slightly and there’s more graham cracker and dry oak components this time out, along with a creamy mouthfeel that does a lot of the heavy lifting. It’s not overly complex, and instead is quite straightforward almost to a fault. It doesn’t reinvent the Old Forester flavor profile and simply offers a slight tweak to it. As a result it has something unique to say within the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series lineup.


Old Forester’s Whiskey Row Series has always been offered a fair market value for previous releases. Starting off at $45 for Old Forester 1870 in 2014, and ending at $60 for Old Forester 1920 in 2020, the brand has put value as one of the series’ strongest selling points. With Old Forester 1924 coming in at $115, that is a considerable jump from where we last left the series. Creating a new mashbill of course takes R&D, and while there is no guarantee that it was designed specifically for this release, timeline-wise, it does match up. A double digit age statement also brings with it a considerable increase in cost, as the days of high age bourbon at value pricing are almost gone. As a comparison, Eagle Rare 10 Year is priced at $35, Henry McKenna at $60, Basil Hayden 10 Year Bourbon at $70 and Knob Creek 12 Year is still a value-behemoth at $60-$70. However an interesting question presents itself: if this was an ongoing release, would $115 seem too high, or is that same price for a limited release more palatable? That question isn’t exclusive to this release of course, but limited releases tend to come with higher expectations. Hitting only a 100 proof to boot (which 1897 Bottled in Bond already tackled at half the cost), many will have trouble fully finding the value with this release despite its appealing taste and age statement. I know I do.


The Whiskey Row Series is back in the spotlight thanks to 1924, debuting a new mashbill and a 10 year age statement, but despite a satisfying sip, its price will be a point of contention.

Since Old Forester’s Whiskey Row's inception in 2015, the series has continually reached a high quality bar. Old Forester 1924 continues that trend and brings with it a few more bells and whistles than normal. Going to the trouble of creating a new mashbill for this release is interesting and shows a certain amount of dedication to the new product. Though the change is so minor, the question needs to be asked: Did they go far enough?

What’s more noteworthy is the release’s 10 year age statement. Hopefully it's a sign of changing times, and we see this trend occur with more big Kentucky distillery products sporting double-digit age statements. What’s more important though is the whiskey’s taste. It thankfully captures some of what makes Old Forester bourbon great. It doesn’t reach the heights of typical Birthday Bourbon releases or the more recent limited release of 117 Series: Bottled in Bond, but finds a middle ground between other Whiskey Row Series whiskeys, Old Forester Statesman, and certain Old Forester Single Barrel selections. I don’t doubt many will enjoy a bottle of 1924, as it offers just enough uniqueness both in taste and bottle attributes to give it a reason to exist in the Old Forester’s Whiskey Row Series.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

January 19, 2024
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