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Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond Rolls Back Bourbon Clock

Old Forester 1897 Bottled in BondBrown-Forman’s Old Forester bourbon brand tends to live in the shadow of its more well regarded Woodford Reserve sibling when it comes to quality bottlings. That being said, the playing field between the two has been becoming more level of late, in part because of the debut last year of the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series. The next release in this line up is coming to market now and is known as 1897 Bottled In Bond.

What is most immediately striking about the Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond, following on the heels of the 1870 Original Batch, is that it is joining a small, but growing, trend of new bottled in bond bourbon releases from Kentucky. To be bottled in bond, according to Old Forester, a bourbon “must have been the product of one distillation season, one distiller and from one distillery. It [also] must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years and bottled at full 100 proof.”

The reference to 1897 in this release is tied to the year 1897, which was when the U.S. Bottled-in-Bond Act came into being. It is said to have been a watershed moment in bourbon history, and Old Forester, given a history dating back to 1870, looks to be in a unique position to play this historical angle out.

The bourbon, noted those behind it, is lightly filtered and small batch. It was crafted in such a way as to mirror “production techniques of the 1897 time period.” It will price around $50 for a 750 ml bottle, and should be rolling out to 20 select markets around the US right now. A more national release is planned for September.

Official tasting notes for Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond, as well as a video with more information on it, are below. As for the series, it will continue with other releases planned which highlight the brand’s “significant milestones and production innovations” up through the mid-1920s. In addition to these different bottlings, Old Forester is also currently having a $45 million distillery constructed for it along Louisville, Kentucky’s historic Whiskey Row.

Color: A rich reddish-brown

Aroma: Robust, intense caramel. Rich vanilla with roasted coffee notes, spiced dark fruit and mature oak.

Flavor: Mouth-filling. Sweet and intense. Deep fruit, spice and oak notes layered over dark caramel and vanilla.

Finish: Big and bold.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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