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Bourbon

Old Forester The 117 Series High Angels' Share

$50.00

OVERALL
RATING

8

Whiskey Review: Old Forester The 117 Series High Angels’ Share

Tasting Notes:

About:
117 Series Bourbon is bottled at 110 proof in 375 ml bottles for $50.
Appearance:
Copper
Nose:
The nose is fruity with dark cherry and raisins accompanied by oak and a touch of chocolate.
Palate:
This coats the tongue and cheeks with something grassy like dandelion and hay, combined with charred oak and black tea. Cherry returns in the mid palate, with a hot finish that bursts with black pepper and cayenne. in a pleasant way. The maker suggests that the 117 Series has herbaceous qualities and I definitely found that to be true. The strength here is in the complexities of the bourbon’s structure. It develops slowly in the mouth and throat as the heat builds and builds. I loved this with ice and would absolutely recommend any whiskey fan giving it a try. Sending User Review 3.64 (11 votes) Buy Now Share: XFacebookLinkedInEmail Drinks Aizome Island – Tropical Style Minor Cobbler Strawberry Rhubarb Julep Crimson & Clover Club Wynken, Blynken, & Nog Related Articles Whiskey Review: Highline Triple Rye Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline Triple Rye Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke American Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke American Whiskey American / Reviews Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.3 Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.3 Reviews / Scotch Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh 12 Years Old Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh 12 Years Old Reviews / Scotch Whiskey Review: Highline American Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline American Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Rye Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Rye Whiskey American / Reviews Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2 Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2 Reviews / Scotch Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh Sandend Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh Sandend Reviews / Scotch Whiskey Review: Highline Straight Kentucky Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline Straight Kentucky Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Bourbon Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Bourbon Bourbon / Reviews Faith Raspante Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement… More by Faith Raspante Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Connect with on on LinkedIn About Advertise Subscribe Editorial Standards Privacy Policy Terms of Use
Finish:
Comments:
Old Forrester 117 Series High Angels’ Share Bourbon is devilishly spicy. I would have preferred more balance with some sweeter elements, but the bold spices linger on the palate in a pleasant way. The maker suggests that the 117 Series has herbaceous qualities and I definitely found that to be true. The strength here is in the complexities of the bourbon’s structure. It develops slowly in the mouth and throat as the heat builds and builds. I loved this with ice and would absolutely recommend any whiskey fan giving it a try.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Brown Forman. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Old Forester of Louisville, Kentucky has several lines of special edition whiskeys, including the mega-popular annual Birthday Bourbon release, and special Anniversary Bourbons. The newest addition to Old Forester’s lineup of limited series bourbon is the experimental Old Forester 117 series. It’s named for the historical address at 117 W. Main St in Louisville where the distillery was located from 1882-1919, and where they returned in 2018 with a tasting tour and gift shop. This release is the design of Master Taster Jackie ZykanIt is the first time in the history of the 150-year-old brand that a woman’s signature will appear on the bottle.

The 117 Series is an “angels’ share” bourbon, meaning that it was created using particularly low yield barrels.  They’re bottled at 110 proof. Zykan explains that “lower yield barrels do tend to have a higher proof on them, and we’ve proofed it down to a level were it wasn’t insanely volatile, where there’s still balance.”

Using high angel’s share barrels was a way for Zykan to showcase Old Forester’s unique flavor elements. “What we have is this really great opportunity to deconstruct what we already do for our blends and our products, and that was kind of where The 117 Series came in,” she says. “It’s not just giving people a different side of Old Forester’s flavor profile, it’s helping them to understand the process we go through to make Old Forester this beautiful, balanced, consistent bourbon.”

Given that the barrels have lost a significant amount of volume, one may assume that this was blended from older casks. However, the notably reasonable price point of $50 per 375 ml bottle suggests that they were likely newer. Old Forester (as usual) does not provide an age statement. Zykan notes, “This is our first 375 in a higher-end product that we’ve done and it’s great for people traveling.” The first bottles of the 117 hit distillery shelves at the end of March, 2021. They are available there and in select retailers around Kentucky.

Plans for subsequent releases seem to be in the works. The distillery says that “[t]he 117 Series may explore selections from specific warehouses, barrel manipulations, deconstructed blends and more… From controlling the mash and yeast strain, to barrels and maturation environments, the possibilities are limitless.”

Old Forester High Angel's Share
Old Forester High Angel’s Share (image via Brown-Forman)

Tasting Notes: Old Forester 117 Series Bourbon

Vital Stats: 117 Series Bourbon is bottled at 110 proof in 375 ml bottles for $50.

Appearance: Copper

Nose: The nose is fruity with dark cherry and raisins accompanied by oak and a touch of chocolate.

Palate: This coats the tongue and cheeks with something grassy like dandelion and hay, combined with charred oak and black tea. Cherry returns in the mid palate, with a hot finish that bursts with black pepper and cayenne.

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Faith Raspante

Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement projects and hosting parties for family and friends.

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