Old Forester 1870 Original Batch Review

Distiller: Brown-Forman. ABV 45%. NAS. Mashbill: undisclosed, probably 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% barley. Price: $45-50.

First taste of the recently released (as of summer 2015) Old Forester 1870 “Original Batch,” a tribute to founder George Garvin Brown’s innovation of batching his bourbon for consistency.

I found this one a bit puzzling…no mashbill stated, though the website says it combines “three expressions of Old Forester,” with “minimal filtering,” and most reviewers suspect that it’s OF’s standard recipe of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% barley.

Strong oak on the nose, with an undistinguished blend of caramel and spice on the tongue — far lighter body than OF Birthday Bourbon, which I love — and a sour tannic note on the finish. Didn’t get the bright fruit/candy apple others mention, though I’ve noticed fairly strongly divided opinions and impressions on it so far. (Pretty ironic for the “tribute to consistency”…)

May need to revisit this one. Other folks out there tried it? What do you think? РBO

2 thoughts on “Old Forester 1870 Original Batch Review”

  1. I’ve had this bourbon twice now (and their BIB too) separated by a year. The first bottle didn’t jump out at me and moved on to other bourbons. The second time around I was surprised with it and really enjoyed it. Smooth, sweet and balanced. I will definitely buy it again and really like the bottle.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, John. I’ve had the same experience many times revisiting bottles I dismissed the first time around.

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