What’s New From Old Forester

Since The Frazier History Museum opened its Prohibition and Kentucky exhibit earlier this year many organizations have taken advantage of the exhibit space for Prohibition-themed events. One such event that has already taken place 3 times is the Old Forester Speakeasy series.


Thursday’s event started with a preview sampling of Old Forester’s next two special releases- the yearly Birthday Bourbon and the next in the Whisky Row Series, 1920 Prohibition Style. They made an interesting choice with this release- it’s being bottled at 115 proof. The explanation as to why it’s 115 and not 100 proof, as it would be Bottled in Bond- that’s the proof it would have come out of the barrel at that time. They’ve already released a Bottled in Bond expression, so I guess they wanted to try something a little different. Here are Master Bourbon Specialist Jackie Zykan’s notes on this offering:


Rich, chestnut red.


An intense medley of cherry preserves, drippy caramel, dark chocolate, thickened maple syrup and seasoned oak spiciness.


Dark caramel coats layers of malt nuttiness and sweet graham cracker all warmed by green peppercorn and coriander spice brightened with a hint of cedar.


Tart apple crispness gives way to a long smoky finish full of toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker sweetness.


I found this to be another fabulous release from Old Forester, but then I hardly ever come across a bourbon I don’t like. The color on this one is spectacular as is the nose. The expected retail will be around $60, so it’s an attainable bottle.

The Birthday Bourbon is another animal altogether. Released every September to commemorate Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday on September 2nd, this is a highly sought-after collectible bottle. I tried this one after the 1920 Prohibition Style and was blown away. Here are Zykan’s notes on this bottle:


Deep reddish umber


Complex and cinnamon wood spiced with nutty chocolate, dark caramel and rich oak notes all brightened with a dash of crisp citrus fruit.


Mulled spice sweetness and fruity with bright citrus peel highlights.


Long and warm with mulled fruit character lingering on.


The retail price on this bottle will be around $80. There will be just less than 15,000 bottles available nationwide, which is more than has ever been bottled of the Birthday Bourbon before.


After the media preview tasting of the newest Old Forester expressions the rest of the Speakeasy program opened up to the public. There was a band on the first floor, hair styling sessions in the mezzanine, and Zykan led an Old Fashioned class in the Speakeasy. Art Eatables was there with several of their new cocktail chocolate offerings. All in all this was a fabulous way to spend a Thursday evening!

Stay tuned to The Frazier’s website for upcoming events in the Speakeasy.

Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl

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