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View Full Version : "Old" Old Forrester 100?



Tired Tech
02-21-2007, 20:49
I'm relatively new to bourbon and certainly to this forum, and don't have any deep knowledge of bourbon history. But I remember reading somewhere that Old Forrester 100 Proof had changed quite a bit at some point, perhaps was sold, moved to a different distillery or whatever. I used to very much enjoy it several years ago, but find the current version less satisfying. The bottle and label are certainly different from the ones I remember from years back. Does anyone know what the full story on it is, and especially whether or not any bottles of the older version can be found anywhere?

TNbourbon
02-21-2007, 21:05
I'm relatively new to bourbon and certainly to this forum, and don't have any deep knowledge of bourbon history. But I remember reading somewhere that Old Forrester 100 Proof had changed quite a bit at some point, perhaps was sold, moved to a different distillery or whatever. I used to very much enjoy it several years ago, but find the current version less satisfying. The bottle and label are certainly different from the ones I remember from years back. Does anyone know what the full story on it is, and especially whether or not any bottles of the older version can be found anywhere?

Old Forester still is and has been distilled and bottled by Brown-Forman, but this particular whiskey has gone from Bottled In Bond (BIB), to simply 100 proof, and now 'Signature' within about a 5-year time span.
Yes, older BIB bottles do turn up as a result of those compressed changes -- I'm especially fond of the dimpled-sided ones which lasted till the mid-'90s. I have several and hope of find several more before these are gone.

cowdery
02-23-2007, 03:51
To add a little bit, Old Forester has been made at the current distillery since 1979. The distillery before that was where the Brown-Forman headquarters is now, and that distillery dated to before Prohibition, so it's safe to say that Old Forester has been made at only two distilleries, a couple miles apart, in the last century.

During a time when a lot of brands have moved around, through different owners and different distilleries, Old Forester has been one of the most stable brands.

Jazzhead
02-23-2007, 05:07
Old Forester is a regular pour for me, although the 100 proof expression is next to impossible to find in these parts. Indeed, the only 100 proof OF I've ever found in South Jersey is from a single package store that had a bunch of the old dimpled BIB bottles. I've bunkered a half dozen or so of those bottles, and those soldiers are rapidly meeting their demise. I was out in Vegas a couple of months ago, and found and brought back my one and only bottle of OF Signature.

Signature is the new name for OF 100, and it is not, as TNBourbon notes, bottled in bond. The hang tag, in fact, pitches that age statements are less important than taste, and that OF is bottled to achieve a consistent, quality taste. The Signature, therefore, is likely a melding of whiskeys of various ages, while the old BIB, of course, represents a single year's distillation.

I tried the OF BIB and the OF Signature back to back last night, and the honest truth is they taste more or less the same. The BIB strikes me as a bit more balanced, but that's about it. It seems that OF has indeed kept its quality through the years. I've heard it said that perhaps the reservation of the "honey barrels" for the Birthday Bourbons (as well as the Woodford Reserve) has caused the relative quality of the barrels left for the regular OF to diminish. That sounds logical, but I can't say I can taste a real difference in comparing the old and new bottles. As Chuck says, OF is a rock of stability in the bourbon world.