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Old Forester’s Latest Honors Whiskey Row Fire Firefighters

Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, back in 2015, suffered a four alarm fire that ravaged a number of buildings. Teams of firefighters were luckily able to contain and extinguish the catastrophe, preserving among other things a site that Brown-Forman had planned to use for a downtown Old Forester Distillery location. The block is now home to restaurants, bars, a hotel and other businesses – and has become a major tourist destination.

Now, in honor of the 7th anniversary of that fire, Old Forester has announced the release of the newest installment of The 117 Series – Whiskey Row Fire. This offering debuts just after the departure of Old Forester brand leader Jackie Zykan into the world of independent whiskey consulting.

In 2020, men and women of Louisville Fire, many of whom fought the blaze, selected eight single barrels from a lot filled the same day they extinguished the fire.  All 8 barrels sold out in two days and proceeds were donated to the Louisville Firefighter Disaster Fund.

The 117 Series – Whiskey Row Fire
The 117 Series – Whiskey Row Fire (image via Old Forester)

The remainder of the barrels filled that day, the brand noted, slumbered an additional two years in the warehouse and are now batched together to create this release. Old Forester Whiskey Row Fire is bottled at 100 proof and available for purchase at the downtown location’s retail shop for around $60 in limited quantities.

The 117 Series this release heralds from is a limited-expression lineup that debuted in Spring 2021, and is said to offer “a deep dive, or deconstruction, on how either the individual Old Forester Whiskey Row Series expressions are crafted or highlights other historical moments of Old Forester’s history on W. Main Street.”

Official tasting notes for The 117 Series – Whiskey Row Fire are below.

  • Color: Dark orange brown
  • Aroma: Sweet notes of honey comb, malt and marzipan mingle with delicate cedar and fresh oak notes atop cherries laced with vanilla cream.
  • Flavor: Brown sugar, marzipan, vanilla and honey sweeten a mix of berry fruit.
  • Finish: Long notes of honey and vanilla linger with a touch of fruit.

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. 

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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