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flahute

BOTM 5/20 Old Forester 1920

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flahute

We are back with another installment of SBOTM. I apologize for being late this month. Despite quarantine and work from home, I remain quite busy and a bit overwhelmed at times.

I am not complaining however as I still have a job during a tough time for all of us. Here's hoping that the existence of this site and the daily interactions we have with each other help us all to pass the time and find some enjoyment.

 

Old Forester 1920. I think I actually found a bourbon that hasn't been featured before. Joe did such a great job with this sub-forum over the years that it's very difficult to find a stone that hasn't been turned over. I remember when the Whiskey Row series was introduced. At the time, Old Forester as a brand was getting a little stale. OF Signature was highly regarded by most here as a quality affordable bourbon at a good price but there wasn't much happening above that shelf apart from OFBB which was always a bit divisive unlike other LE's which tended to be always highly regarded. OF Single Barrel was out there but it didn't really move the needle for most. So the thought of higher quality OF at decent proof point was enticing to all of us. It started with 1870 and then a little while later we had 1897. The collective reaction to those two was basically - meh. 

It was good whiskey for sure but it came at a new high price point. (Remember this was a few years back when we are still used to what prices used to be). I think most of us wondered why we would regularly buy these two when we had Signature. It was a fair question.

 

Then 1920 came out and it changed everything for some of us. 115 proof! Finally some high proof Old Fo. It was expensive at $55 (approx. price at time of release) but it was good. Full of flavor. More complex than what we were used to from this distillery. It also tasted older than what we were used to outside of BB. For most of us it was an immediate hit. In fact, some of you liked this better than Birthday Bourbon.

 

I just bought a bottle over the weekend and just cracked it for this post and it still satisfies. I still tastes the tannins that suggest they are still keeping the age a bit higher. Really, really good.

 

Sound off SB family. What do you all think of this one? 

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Richnimrod

Steve, I hafta agree with all you've said above.    For me the two prior releases in the Whiskey Row series were barely 'meh', in fact one of 'em (which shall remain nameless) was below that level and has never been bought since).   I almost didn't buy the 1920 at first, having been put off by the previous releases' QPR.   My local monger offered a pour from an open bottle (under the counter) apparently given him by the distributor.    That pour resulted in an immediate buy... followed by several more purchases over the months following.    I have a few backed up and one open, and that is a situation that is unlikely to change   It's GOOD!  ...Maybe reliably the best stuph currently marketed by BF; the new barrel pix at Barrel Proof not withstanding.

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Vosgar

Old Forester whiskies from the last decade have been really hit or miss for me. IIRC they only use one mashbill, so in my little pea brain they're a perfect example of how age, proof, rickhouse location and location of the barrel in the rickhouse can mean everything. I really like the 1920, it's almost up there with the 2013 and 2016 BB IMO, whereas the 1870 and 1897 are OK but nothing special, and the 1910 flat out sucks. One out of four in this series isn't a very good batting average so I'd love to know, besides proof, what the differences are with them.

 

Bottom line.....the 1920 is a winner and a definite buy.

 

(If anyone's in my neighborhood and wants half a bottle of 1910, you're welcome to it. It's dangerously close to being a drain pour)

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fishnbowljoe

I pretty much agree with Gary on this.The 1920 is pretty good. There are hints of good ol’ dusty BF in it. Musty, vegetal, oaky, and nutty flavors all striking a pretty good balance. These flavors were all present despite the higher proof.  Gary gave me a sample of his 1910. I agree with him on it too. It’s mehhhh at best. FWIW, I haven’t really been tempted much to try the others. 
 

Biba! Joe

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Kyjd75

I had previously commented on my like for OF 1920.  I think it continues to be one of the best available at its price point.  Reading this is going to cause me to buy another soon, as it has been a couple of months or so since one was in my cabinet.  As for 1910, I don't have the strong dislike for it that some of you do.  It's not as good as 1920, obviously (imho) but it is drinkable.  I have tried the 1915 "blend" that was suggested previously, which wasn't bad, but 1920 alone is the way to go.  This was a good choice for BOTM.

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tanstaafl2

Of that series the 1920 is my favorite by far. I agree the 1910 was unremarkable and will likely end up in cocktails. Of the other two there was on that was a little better than the other (The BIB perhaps) but the difference is not that remarkable as I recall.

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NDN98

Count me as a fan of the 1920 as well.  It is the only bottle in the Whiskey Row Series that I really like.  While I love this bourbon, it is definitely off-profile from most bourbons.  To me, it is a very smoky tasting bourbon, but in a good way.  It's taste kind of reminds me of a charred marshmallow.  

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Bourbon Sabbath

Anyone have an educated guess as to the age of the 1920?

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fosmith
10 hours ago, Bourbon Sabbath said:

Anyone have an educated guess as to the age of the 1920?

I recall a reviewer saying it was around 5 years old... 

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Kane

1920 is full of flavor, and I don't like that flavor. This falls in the same category as 4R for me, I can tell it's well made by the taste, smell, and texture, but I'd rather drink a WT101.

 

Well, you know what they say about opinions and aholes.

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afmadd

I've only had one bottle of 1920.  It was a finicky bourbon, in my experience.  If you gave it time, a little bit of water, and were patient it opened up nicely.  But it seemed very moody.  This was only one bottle, so it may have been an off one.....

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fosmith
14 hours ago, afmadd said:

I've only had one bottle of 1920.  It was a finicky bourbon, in my experience.  If you gave it time, a little bit of water, and were patient it opened up nicely.  But it seemed very moody.  This was only one bottle, so it may have been an off one.....

I've had a similar experience with 1920.  Sometimes it would be stellar and sometimes it seemed to have a lot of rough edges.

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Guss West

1920 and JD SBBP are the only two BF bottlings I will repurchase. 

 

1920 seems to be the current pinnacle for modern BF. Any other contenders?  

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flahute
6 minutes ago, Guss West said:

1920 and JD SBBP are the only two BF bottlings I will repurchase. 

 

1920 seems to be the current pinnacle for modern BF. Any other contenders?  

Outside of the LE's, I'd agree that 1920 is by far their best regular option. Barrel Proof Single Barrel is coming online and that has potential to be in the conversation.

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mbroo5880i

I have had several bottles of OF1920 since it came out and have enjoyed every one of them.  I have tried it a variety of different ways...neat, with ice, with water, mixed with 1910 and enjoy it all of those ways.  It is a little pricey in my area unless you catch it on sale or make a multiple bottle purchase to get a discount.

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BDanner
Posted (edited)

Popped the cork on my first bottle of this last night and really enjoyed it. A splash of water opened it up with chocolate, coffee, sweet cream, and hazelnut joining the cherry, vanilla, oak, cinnamon and black pepper that is dominant neat. The OldFo profile is just not my thing, but this was very good. Edges out the Rye as my favorite Old Forester.

Edited by BDanner
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tanstaafl2
Posted (edited)

Old Forester rye is pretty good and a pretty good bargain to boot. It isn't bourbon of course but it is a current BF product.

 

 

 

Edited by tanstaafl2

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Paddy
On 5/21/2020 at 1:32 PM, flahute said:

Outside of the LE's, I'd agree that 1920 is by far their best regular option. Barrel Proof Single Barrel is coming online and that has potential to be in the conversation.

Our palates are aligned enough that I’m comfortable saying that you’re gonna havta  revisit the Sig/100.😉

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flahute
10 minutes ago, Paddy said:

Our palates are aligned enough that I’m comfortable saying that you’re gonna havta  revisit the Sig/100.😉

I have and I absolutely love it! It somehow has a different profile than what is typical across the OF family. While I love it, the OF 1920 still wins. If you want to talk about value however, Sig/100 all the way.

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