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tanstaafl2

2019 OFBB

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tanstaafl2

Couldn’t find a previous thread although there probably is one.

 

With the arrival of the 2019 OFBB it was time for our annual review. In my case it goes back to 2012.

 

So which of these is not like the other?

 

E0895BB3-48DF-4AE2-AD16-5E9BB3C04842.jpeg.05b9773aa7b89144963c0418857d36b9.jpeg
E55FD2C3-4CC2-4048-B9E7-9F771F402CCB.jpeg.80867e7d1dd7eddd5850cc4d42a414ee.jpeg

 

if you said the 11 year old age statement on the 2019 you are a winner!

 

Sadly for me the bourbon itself was NOT a winner. Rather unremarkable on the palate, maybe a vague hint of cherry, and the finish falls off into the abyss. Maybe it was just a bad palate day but none of them seemed all the remarkable to me. A few were able to stand out a bit but overall it seemed a bit underwhelming as a group.

 

Sone 8 years ago when it was a 12yo bourbon for at or below $40 and relatively easy to find on the shelf it certainly seemed like a nice “specialty” bottle but now, at three times the cost (and one year younger to boot although the bump in proof to 105 was nice, or would have been if I had enjoyed it) I am not sure this one warrants the premium cost and effort to get anymore.
 

Will try it again just to see if it really was just an off day for tasting (I don’t think it is just the palate being off because we followed it with our store pick KC rye which was excellent!) but it might just be my last OFBB purchase.

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Richnimrod

tanstaafl2, you make good points in general about the brand, especially as your comments apply to the later offerings.   I gave up on the brand a couple years ago, after 3-uninspiring years in a row (that nonetheless included annual price increases).   I was sad and reluctant to stop the quest; but did so anyway.    ...And, so far? No Regrets.    STILL too much good (better in many cases!) Bourbon out there for a lot less cheddar!   Hell BF's own Early Times BIB is a more satisfying pour (and more consistent!) for waaay less money.   ...To my taste buddies, anyway.

 

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jeffrey r
12 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Will try it again just to see if it really was just an off day for tasting (I don’t think it is just the palate being off because we followed it with our store pick KC rye which was excellent!) but it might just be my last OFBB purchase.

All good thoughts.  At the current pricing and availability, I think it is safe to say that I won't be buying OFBB again.  Putting aside spotting a silly NYC bottle on the shelf in the hundreds, I haven't seen a legit bottle of OFBB on the shelf in years.  Last time I saw OFBB on the shelf was one year when it was highly praised, maybe 2013?  I saw 3 bottles around $50-$60, bought all three, and enjoyed them pretty quickly. 

 

But it was nothing amazing then, and from all accounts, it is certainly nothing amazing now, and not worth $100, or $150, or whatever price it is going at these days.  Good stuff around $50-$60, but still not "better" than a RRSiB, WTRB, ECBP, Stagg JR or many others that are available to varying degrees.  And if I want to scratch an OF itch, I have and enjoy 1920 and 1910.

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Clueby

OFBB is one I've never owned a bottle of and have never, ever seen a bottle "in the wild", even at a ridiculous markup.  They just don't seem to exist here.  I have only tried one year (2018 I think) and was underwhelmed.

 

It has mostly dropped off my search list.  I have seen this year's going for $350-$400 on the secondary.  

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The Black Tot

One of the first limited editions I got comfortable forgetting about.

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Bob_Loblaw

Still makes for a pretty picture. Seeing them all next to each other with the different colors is cool.

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smokinjoe
8 minutes ago, Bob_Loblaw said:

Still makes for a pretty picture. Seeing them all next to each other with the different colors is cool.

Ha, I thought the same thing!  It’s like a bag of Skittles!  

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mal00768

Doesn’t Willet supposedly have a bunch of Old Forester barrels? People seem to be going crazy over whatever they’re putting out. If true, it seems like the birthday bourbon could have been something really special.

 

But in a way I’m glad that it’s not cause it’s unobtainable here in MA. ;) 

Edited by mal00768

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GeeTen
10 hours ago, mal00768 said:

But in a way I’m glad that it’s not cause it’s unobtainable here in MA. ;) 

 

No, not really.  You just have to look a little harder for one.  Still not in my wheelhouse on a price/taste value, tho'.   👎

 

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flahute

I'm one of the outliers that tends to really like OFBB from year to year. OF at 12 years and close to 100 proof tends to be squarely in my wheelhouse.

Part of this is nostalgia driven as the '13 OFBB was my first LE bottle purchase and that was a great year.

I haven't purchased one in a few years because the BF distributor got really stingy with OFBB a few years ago and the stores only get 1 or 2 now as the rest go to the bars and restaurants.

I used to get at least one and sometimes 2 from my local. To spread the wealth among the regulars I now get my choice between OFBB and 4RLESmB. You can guess which one I choose.

Luckily I have a pretty good stash in the bunker from when it was easier to get and when I do open one I still love it.

Current pricing and distributor games means I likely won't be purchasing one of these at any point in the near future. I'm OK with that because I have plenty of great bourbon to get me through.

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MDBourbon

I had a pour of this years offering at a local restaurant.  I thought it was very good this year, maybe because it was during a work lunch  with a friend and everything seems to taste better at those times. 

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RWBadley
On 10/30/2019 at 7:06 PM, MDBourbon said:

I had a pour of this years offering at a local restaurant.  I thought it was very good this year, maybe because it was during a work lunch  with a friend and everything seems to taste better at those times. 

 

Indeed a nice pour for work lunch!

 

The last vintage I doubled down on was the 2013. I thought it was excellent, and managed to score a 6 pack case for 35$ each from Total wine. I saw the box up high and grabbed somebody to bring it down for me. He said 'I think this may be limited' and looked into the computer. He found no limitation so I said great I'll take it. That was a considered bargain given the juice quality for that year.

 

Since then I have managed to get a taste of just about every year more or less and found a whole lot of 'meh'. Glad for that in some ways as it stopped me from feeling obliged to overpay.

 

That the 2019 is looking sketchy is fine too, as I'm guessing I won't see it for less than $100 or thereabouts

 

Cheers,

RW

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Vosgar
18 hours ago, RWBadley said:

The last vintage I doubled down on was the 2013. I thought it was excellent, and managed to score a 6 pack case for 35$ each from Total wine.

Wow! Certainly the deal of the year IMO. I've currently got one open and two more stashed away. Love that vintage 😋

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0895

I'll be cheese that stands alone here.

 

Birthday bourbon was one of the top things I wanted to try this year.  I found it to be very satisfying and delicious.

 

Now, if we're talking about price and value, then 1920 is the clear winner all day every day.  IMO it is also the closest product you can get to Birthday bourbon, that you can readily buy.  A little water in the 1920 and the two products become close cousins most of the time, with just a bit more complexity from the BB due to its age.

 

 like @flahute said, given the choice of only one, I would likely pick the 4R SmBLE as well.  Way more bang for the buck!

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