View Full Version : How old is Old Forester?
After doing some research in the archives of this site, I have found several references to the age of OF 100. Several posts have placed it at about 8yo. Why then does the label list it at 4yo? I understand that if there is an age statement it must be from the youngest whiskey in the batch, but why would they state a 4yo age when they don't have to? Am I missing something?
Oh, and for the record, I purchased my first ever 1.5L bottle today. Thats right, OF100. Saved about $4.50 if I figgered right <img src="http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif" alt="" />
If it is a bonded whiskey that explains the 4 year age statement. Chris Morris at L& G said the 100 proof was around a 6 year bourbon . Oddly on the aside I posted elsewhere that I visited Jim Beam outpost over the weekend and on their new movie Freddie Noe ( Son of Booker) is saying that JimBeam white has a minimum age of 4 years but that no barrels are selected until they are ready. ( we will sell no wine until it's time) Inferring that we may be getting a little more age for our money. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif
I would have thought it a little older than 6yo by looking at it. It has such a nice dark amber color I usually only see on the older labels. I guess it could be because of the higher proof, but comparing its color to say, VOB BIB, the difference is night and day. So in order to be labeled BIB, an age statement must be on the label? I think I remember that from Chuck's Malt Advocat article, but bonding is kind of an obscure concept to me and I am having a hard time remembering all of the stipulations. So is "bonding" a bourbon these days just a marketing device or does it have a specific purpose in today's market?
OK Jeff the barrels selected for the regular 86 Old Forester are an average of 66 months old. Dig up my tasting on this fine bourbon to get all the inside intel. It is my understanding that all of the barrels selected for the 100 proof version are all eight years of age and from a single season. It meets all the criteria to be labeled 'Bottled In Bond'. Chris Morris said they may return to labeling it as a BIB in the future. Re-read Chucks fine article and commit the 'singularity requirements' to memory as there will be a quiz. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif
It actually was a device by which a distiller could defer taxes on product hence the " bond" and had to guarantee a minimum quality product . and 4 years was one of the stipulations 100 proof being another. There's a thing in producing bourbon that if you have the money for the empty new barrel , all the materials, the plant and labor, you also have to cough up a little over 500 dollars for each barrel of bourbon you produce for taxes. It becomes not so much a question of how big your still is or how much corn you can store but really how deep your pockets are. I think there was also another odd stipulation that it had to be aged for 4 years and 2 of those years had to be in a new barrel. I t obviously would be a pain in the ass to barrel it twice but I think it was written in a time when new cooperage was scarce. Bottled in bond is going the way of the buggy whip and for some it has a negative connatation . Chuck has written an article about it I think for Malt advocate and Chris Morris said they made have to put it back on the bottles because of that article. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
Your tasting notes on the 86 are what got me to try it in the first place http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif Now what I really want to know is: Is it stipulated that the label say "4 years old", meaning "this bourbon is AT LEAST four years old" or should the label be an accurate statement of the age of the bourbon in the bottle? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif I guess it is the former, since you say that OF 100 is 8yo.
A couple of things.
First, I was re-reading some of John Ed Pearce's "Nothing Better In The Market," the history of Brown-Forman, and at a very early date the Browns argued that it was maturity, not age, that really matters.
As for age statements, the whiskey must be aged (in new, charred oak barrels) for at least two years to be called bourbon. If its age is more than two years but less than four, it must bear an age statement. (Typically, that would be stated in months, e.g., "aged 36 months.") Bourbon over four years old is not required to bear an age statement but if it does, that age statement must correspond to the youngest whiskey used. As a matter of practice, most companies do not age-label a fully-aged bourbon unless it is seven or more years old, so a lot of bourbon that is around six years old is sold without an age statement.
To be called "bottled in bond" the whiskey must be at least 100 proof, at least 4 years old, and made in one season at one distillery by one distiller (the "singularity requirement"). According to Chris Morris, OF 100 is, in fact, a bonded bourbon, but marketing decided the "BIB" terminoly was a negative. Now, supposedly (I think that was just a stroke), they are reconsidering that decision based on the arguments made in my MA article.
I was looking over the notes that we jotted down @ L&G and one of the more interesting ones to me was on my wifes sheet regarding Old Forester 100, She said that the nose smells distinctly like Cream Soda. I think that just might be right on, any other opinions??
I am sitting here with a glass right now. I get a little of that (cream soda). What jumps out at me is kind of a buttery cotton candy taste. I also don't get the spicy rye "kick" that others have described. This seems to finish smoother than my beloved Maker's Mark (forgive me Bill Samuels, for I have sinned) If I had to compare this to wine, this would be a full bodied cabernet from the Rutherford region of the Napa Valley. It just seems to linger on the palate. I dream of this bourbon during the day. I can actually taste it in my mind. That has not happened to me with a Whiskey before. Maybe I have a problem http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif Yeah, not enough hours in the day to enjoy this wonderful drink. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
Chuck Cowdery wrote:
"To be called "bottled in bond" the whiskey must be at least 100 proof, at least 4 years old..."
So does that mean that the age statement on a BIB label should reflect the actual age or just that it is at least 4yo? I am just confused because the label statement is in contrast to what Linn and others have stated the age to be.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif Jeff if you are day dreaming about Old Forester now just wait until you get a taste of the 'birthday bourbon', or perhaps it is just as well that you didn't get a taste of it as it has become an instant obsession and overnight sensation - a bourbonic cult classic if you please. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif
No shit huh, Linn! One taste has got me pining away for a bottle that I wilst never aquire (see my Notes On The One Tiny Little Drop Of Birthday Bourbon I Was Allowed To Taste (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=Tasting&Number=9891&pa ge=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=365&fpart=1) for more info). It really is just that damn good, It does justice to the name!
Tom (Bleeeee!) C
You know he's right. Many people here have said that they thought (or were told) that OF 100 was more than 4 years old. So IF Old Forrester does actually adhere to Bottled in Bond requirements and is all from the same distilling season and is more like 6 years old (what I remember reading), then wouldnt they want to show that on the bottle?? Or is there another reason they took BIB off the bottle. . . . . . . I know I am probably just restating the question, but I just finally see where Jeff is trying to go with this. . . .
Tom (Which Way Did He Go, George. . . . . .?) C
You all really know how to hurt a guy http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
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