Old Forester 2017 Birthday Bourbon Arriving In September

| August 15, 2017

One of the most anticipated releases to come from the Brown-Forman bourbon stable each year is the limited edition Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Now in its 17th release, this bourbon was created to pay homage to founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday on September 2nd. It is once again a 12-year-old offering, and will be available shortly in a wider distribution amount then has been possible before.

The Old Forester 2017 Birthday Bourbon, according to those behind it, “was drawn from 12 year old barrels from different warehouses and floors on May 27, 2005. 93 barrels matured together on the 4th floor of G warehouse, yielding an extremely spice forward expression. The remaining 27 barrels matured together on the 5th floor of K warehouse contributing a rounding sweetness to the blend. Several barrels from both lots basked in the sun, highlighting the effects of maturation along an external wall in Old Forester’s heat cycled warehouses.”

Old Forester noted in information put out to press that there will actually be two variants on this year’s Birthday expression. The reason for this is that during the transfer of bourbon from the holding tank to the bottling line, alcohol vapors were lost during bottling, causing the proof to drop. As a result there’s both a 95.4 and a 96 proof out there to be had, should you want to taste compare them against one another to look for variations in flavor.

Old Forester 2017 Birthday Bourbon

“The common denominators in this year’s blend are chocolate and black pepper,” said Old Forester master taster Jackie Zykan in a prepared statement. “The finish is interesting, as it really ignites the perimeters of the palate and cascades off into a soft, dry floral bouquet.”

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You’ll find more complete official tasting notes below. As for pricing, expect these to drop for at least around $80. Florida and Georgia will receive the 95.4 proof expression and remaining states will receive the 96 proof expression. Kentucky is the only state which will receive both expressions with the 96 proof expression shipping first.

  • Color: Bright golden honey
  • Nose: Sweet toasted oak and black pepper with a heavy suggestion of orange oil and toffee
  • Taste: Oak spice and charred black pepper dominate over a subtle core of chocolate custard and kola nut.
  • Finish: Spicy perimeter mouth feel that slowly cascades off revealing floral undertones and cocoa powder


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...