Another year, another Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Each September, to honor founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday, Old Forester releases a limited-edition, 12-year old vintage-dated expression. It’s always a fun exercise to taste the new whiskey and compare notes with previous years. But mostly to taste it. So that’s exactly what we did.
The 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon pours a deep copper hue in the glass with streaks of red and gold. Bring that glass to your nose, and you’ll get all of that 97 proof. But give it a minute in the glass, and you’re met with pleasant aromas of oak, cinnamon spice, chocolate and orange peels. Take a sip, and more of that spice and citrus comes to the front. It’s a nice combo, and one that leaves your palate fresh and ready for more. As things continue, so do the bittersweet chocolate notes, plus dark cherries, nougat and mild ginger. It finishes long and dry.
The mix of fresh citrus with fruit, spice and chocolate provides a lot to like. Old Forester’s 2016 Birthday Bourbon is a fine release, and we’re now wishing it wasn’t so limited.
— 48.5% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★