Whiskey Review: Old Forester The President’s Choice

, | October 9, 2018

What’s old, is new again! Old Forester has restored their old single barrel tradition, The The President’s Choice Choice. The President’s Choice is just that, an exceptional barrel of bourbon personally selected for bottling by the distillery president.

The tradition is said to have unofficially began in 1890 when George Garvin Brown, then president, gifted his first single barrel selection to the governor of Kentucky. However, the program wasn’t formalized until 1956. Mr. Brown passed away un-expectantly in 1969 and the last of his selected barrels were depleted by 1972.

46 years later current President Campbell Brown has resurrected the tradition. Why now?  Old Forester recently refurbished a long unused bottling bottling facility on Louisville’s Whiskey Row into a new distilling facility and wanted a momentous release to mark the occasion.  Originally the President’s selections were not for sale, as they were only available for executives and other VIPs. Today, the President’s Choice is only available for sale at the distillery itself.

The flavors of Old Forester President’s Choice definitely evolve with time and air. I found this bourbon flourished when given the opportunity to breath a bit. I sampled my press release bottle over a two-week period. The initial taste from a fresh bottle was somewhat muted to such a point that the bourbon’s flavors and proof could not express itself. The second taste was very flavorful without the heat of the proof over dominating. After the bottle had more air than whiskey the proof came through strongly on the tongue followed by a flavorful finish.

After pouring, I recommend allowing this whiskey to sit for several minutes  before tasting. It will change as you allow it to breathe,  both in the bottle and your glass.

Old Forrester President's Choice

Old Forester President’s Choice (image via Old Forester)

Tasting Notes: Old Forester President’s Choice

Vital Stats: Historical range is 110-120 proof, aged 6 years, $90, 750 ml, special release

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Appearance: It has a clear chestnut color.

Nose: Initially it leans toward butterscotch, honey, apple, and burnt sugar aroma. Upon further nosing a cherry smell is predominant. The woody oak and pecan scents present themselves with time.

Palate: Without time to sit, the first sip can pack some heat. If you allow the whiskey to sit the flavors will present themselves pleasantly. The sweet spice and cherry flavors shine thru. A deep oak flavor lasts on the palate.

The Takeaway


Old Forester The President’s Choice is definitely a good whiskey for bourbon and Old Forester fans. Since it’s a single barrel and only available in Kentucky, it will be harder to get.

User Review
4.5 (2 votes)


Jeneen Bell

It all began with a simple quest for whiskey information to host a better whiskey tasting. As I learned more about the history and complexity of the spirit, I went down a rabbit hole and never looked back. Many call me a whsik(e)y geek. I'm a Certified Bourbon Steward, WSET...