Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Brown-Forman Distilling Company
Distillery: Brown-Forman Distilling Company
Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
MSRP: $30 (2019)
Anyone that’s been in liquor stores over the past year has probably noticed an uptick in private selections of Old Forester Single Barrel. This may have to do with other brands' private selection programs' lack of availability, or more with Brown-Forman rapidly expanding their program. Whatever the reason, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on a single barrel bottle of Old Forester.
We’ve noted before the brand’s inconsistencies in quality and the lack of excitement surrounding it. We found that changed for the better in our recent review of the much improved Old Forester 100 Signature. Using that release as a new baseline, it will be interesting to see if the brand’s overall quality bump and improved flavor profile carries over to their single barrel selections. Or do these single barrel releases repeat the sins of the brand’s past?
Much like the Old Forester Signature nose, caramel, cherry, and oak spring from the glass despite being 10 proof points less. Pecan takes a stronger presence with this single barrel, which makes for a very delicious smelling nose.
The palate and finish flow into each other with heavy oak and nut present, along with pepper and bitterness, which is typical with Old Forester products. These notes are more upfront compared to Old Forester Signature. At 90 proof, the bourbon is surprisingly quite punchy and bold. It does offer a slight variation of Signature’s flavor profile. It’s less sweet and focuses more on oak, nut, and dark fruits.
This single barrel is very much in the wheelhouse of the Old Forester flavor profile, and while this shouldn’t surprise anyone, the main benefit of single barrels is providing a variation of a standard product. For fans of heavier flavor profiles that lean towards dark fruits, leather, and dry oak as opposed to sweet oak, you’ll enjoy this single barrel.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Crossroads Wine & Spirits. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.