Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is back for another year. The 2010 edition, which commemorates the birth of Brown-Forman’s founder, George Brown, is aged 12 years and just may be the best of the bunch.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is quite old for a bourbon. As expected, those 12 years in wood play a prominent role in shaping this whiskey. On the nose, there is a noticeable hit of alcohol, but let it open up for a couple minutes, and the bourbon reveals plenty of oak, spice and some sweet vanilla. Underneath it all is some honeyed fruit.
Take a sip and you’ll notice more intense wood notes. At first the wood seems to overwhelm the palate, but the oak eventually gives way to peppery spices, cinnamon and some caramel. The rich mouth feel grips the tongue and stays with you for a warm, nutty finish that melts into some chocolate and citrus notes toward the end.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is definitely a sipping spirit. If needed, a solitary ice cube will temper the spiciness and alcoholic heat, but don’t bother mixing this bourbon into cocktails, diluting it with too much water or topping it with cola. That will merely stifle the whiskey’s complex oak influences and stifle this celebratory spirit.
– 47.5% Alcohol by Volume