Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Old Forester. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky is based on the first documented double-barreled whisky that was distilled in … you guessed it – 1910! Here is the story of this wonderful whiskey.
The Whiskey Row Series was initiated to highlight “significant milestones and production innovations” from the brand’s history. A year later they introduced Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond, and in 2016 the third whisky in this series – Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon debuted.
Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky is the 4th and final release in the Whisky Row Series.
108 years ago, in October of 1910, Old Forester had a fire in the bottling line – not only did they have the challenge of needing to shut down the bottling line while repairs ensued, they had mature whisky ready for bottling. This whisky was too precious to lose. In order to save it, it was stored in new, charred oak barrels until the bottling line could be repaired.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato said that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and the need to save that whisky resulted in a bourbon that was different from Old Forester and remarkable enough to be used as a model for a whisky made more than 100 years later.
Emulating that point is Old Forester’s history, 1910 Old Fine Whisky also experiences a second barreling. 1910 Old Fine Whisky goes into a lightly toasted, very heavily charred barrel, before it is finally bottled at 93 proof.
“There are often pieces of our brand’s history that we happen upon by accident,” said Chris Morris, Master Distiller, VP Whiskey Innovation, Brown-Forman, in a prepared statement. “Years ago, while searching through archives, we discovered a case of bourbon with a label I hadn’t seen before. We uncovered that Very Old Fine Whisky not only carried a great story, but a previously unknown heritage of double-barreled expressions.”
“Mature Old Forester enters a second barrel at 100 proof, just as it did in 1910,” added Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan. “The second barrel is charred nearly to the point of incineration. This low entry proof allows more of the wood’s sugars to be dissolved into the whiskey, resulting in a smooth, sweet whisky with a clean, spicy finish – yielding an exceptional character.”
Tasting Notes: 1910 Old Fine Whisky
Vital Stats: A double-barreled bourbon whisky. 93 proof. Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley. $55 for a 750ml bottle.
Appearance: This whisky is a very dark golden brown.
Nose: Brown sugar, caramel, followed by citrus, and a hint of smoke. The aroma has lots of character and depth.
Palate: Rich caramel, and dark cocoa, followed by spice & oak, with an almost sweet finish that has a hint of vanilla.
I took my first sip and I thought “Wow! That is a fine whisky.” Upon taking my second sip, I liked it even more. Both smooth and complex at the same time, with a gentle warmth that stays with you all the way down.
This wonderful, rich whiskey has a score of 4 stars and it is worth every penny of the $55 it goes for.