Tag Archives: brown-forman

First Look at Old Forester’s New Whiskey Row Distillery

Brown-Forman is betting big on bourbon boomtime–and the continuing flood of whiskey-related tourism in Kentucky–by building a 60,000-square-foot “distillery and bourbon experience” on Louisville’s Whiskey Row, set to be completed in late 2017.

The company released some click designers’ renderings of the facility today:

From the company’s release:

Located at 117 and 119 Main Street along Louisville’s historic “Whiskey Row,” the distillery and bourbon experience will be a world-class distilling operation and visitor’s destination showcasing the supreme craftsmanship of Old Forester, America’s First Bottled Bourbon™. In detail, the renderings highlight key locations within the distillery such as the welcome area, fermentation room, cooperage, tasting room, and bottling line.

“Upon Completion, the Old Forester Distillery will provide tourists and bourbon enthusiasts with an up close look at our bourbon making process and share with them a captivating story of entrepreneurship and achievement that characterizes Old Forester’s 146 year history,” said Old Forester President and fifth generation family member, Campbell Brown.

The distillery will celebrate founder George Garvin Brown’s innovative spirit and his commitment to making the highest quality bourbon. Old Forester is the longest, continuously distilled bourbon produced before, during and after prohibition by the same family. Including fermentation, distilling, barrel making, aging and bottling, the distillery will produce 100,000 cases of Old Forester annually.

“The Old Forester Distillery is a state-of-the art project that will add an additional layer of history and authenticity to Louisville’s Whiskey Row,” said Project Manager, Mike Beach. “We are both proud and excited about the distillery’s capabilities to showcase the bourbon making process for visitors from around the world.”

What do you think? Will it make your 2018 travel plans?

Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked Review

Distiller: Brown-Forman. ABV: 45.2%. Age: 7 years. Mashbill: 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley. Price: $50 for 375ml.

One of the best things about the online whisk(e)y community is the chance new friends give you to try things you might not otherwise. Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked (no typo) is one of them.

Woodford caught my eye soon after its launch by Brown-Forman in 1996, and I remember it as one of the first high-end bourbons I ever tried. Over the years, though, it’s slipped down the list for me, largely because of a strong candied banana note that I find overpowering. Still, I’d wanted to revisit it, and Instagram friend @fletcher_whiskeydog offered a great opportunity with a sample of this curiosity.

The “Double Double” is an experimental release available only at the distillery and select Kentucky retailers. They start with the standard Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, then give it a second finish in heavily charred American oak–or a third finish, actually, since the Double Oaked is the regular Woodford Reserve with an extra nine month finish in extra-toasted barrels. Got all that?

For me, this one’s a bridge too far. Here the candied fruit is amped up to the level of fruit-scented nail polish. The nose has wood varnish and cinnamon red hots too. The palate brings has massive oak–no surprise there, and not unwelcome–and some appealing vanilla cake and chocolate frosting flavors. But they’re all soaked in a synthetic sweetness that spoils the whole thing for me.

Still, glad I tried it–all in the name of #bourbonresearch. Cheers, friends! -BO

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? – BO

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Review

Distiller: Brown-Forman. 49-50% ABV. Age: 12 years. Price: $60-80 (if you can find it)

The Birthday Bourbon is a special edition Brown-Forman releases each September to honor co-founder George Garvin Brown (born Sep. 2), who conceived of the idea of selling bourbon in sealed glass bottles. With this innovation, he launched his company in 1870.

As a limited annual release, the OFBB profile does change a bit year to year. Many tasters have pointed to the 2013 as a particularly good one…and I’m definitely one of them.

The 2013 OFBB has a big, rich, corn-sweet nose. The taste: Cracker Jacks. Salted Caramel. Dark oak. Cotton candy. Somehow not too sweet, in spite of the nose. Creamy. Substantial body, and at 49%, hugely enjoyable without any water. Long oaky finish.

The 2015 is hotter on the nose at first, but with a little time rounds out, with caramel, dark oak, and dry mint. Oak spice and more mint on the palate, then roasted peanut and pecan notes. The sweetness is subtler than the 2013, with less of the cotton candy and caramel corn I love in that one.

OFBB remains a great pour, a great bottle, and needless to say, a great gift. But with the price creeping up every year, the question of value is a fair one. The 2015 is good, but there are many excellent bourbons out there for less than $80.

They just don’t say “birthday” on them. – BO