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BOTM 01/22 Old Forester 100


flahute
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Late again - boy was it a rough reentry into work post holiday.

 

To kick off the new year I decided to go back to basics. The last two years have been effed up beyond what any of us could imagine. We enter 2022 much like did 2021 - hopeful. Let's hope it goes better this time! So in these times of uncertainty we need something smack in the wheelhouse of our comfort zone. Something reliable that always delivers and does so at a very fair price point. That bourbon is Old Fo 100. Most of you know by now how much of a fanboy I am for this one (which is funny given that I'm a card carrying member of the Lawrenceburg Tribe.) You're going to have to bear with me as I repeat myself for who knows how many times. As I say I love this bourbon because it's at the almost lowest rung of the OF ladder and it's so, so good. I don't get the typical OF banana note that's present in most of their products. I get a salted caramel flavor along with the other typical bourbon flavors. It just hits the spot so on target even when I'm having a bad palate night.

 

As you know, this along with WT101 is my most consumed bourbon. 4R is starting to creep back in to that calculus with the standard single barrel being back on good terms and the Small Batch still being high quality. (And of course the yellow label freezer bottle!). We may have to create a new club so OF100 can be a member.

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Good call, OF100 was my introduction to "good" cheap bourbon.  Not readily available here in PA but I always kept a handle in-stock.  Such an amazing go-to for cocktails or neat, you can't go wrong with this one.

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When I got into bourbon, Old Forester was selling the Signature iteration of this. It was a tremendous value. I bought 30-40 dusty bottles of the Bonded from 2007-2010 or so, and those were outstanding, as well, with a slightly oilier mouthfeel that I attribute to what was probably lower barrel entry proof in the 1960s and 70s. Stunning whiskey.

 

The current stuff is a go-to pour, always open at our house. I get a nice cherry note in this one at times, but when I pour an Insane Rush IPA as a beer back for it, some incredible apricot and plum flavors come to the fore. It sort of showcases the interrelated nature of stone fruits and their shared flavors. The salted caramel note is spot on, too, and something that makes it well-suited to sipping with a handful of cashews or other snacking nuts. Makes a killer Old Fashioned, as well. Considering the fact that a handle goes for less than $40 at several stores here, it's neck and neck with WT101 for QPR.

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I'm a big fan.  As a matter of fact, I recommend this to new enthusiasts or others that haven't tried it.  It's on my short list of bottles always somewhere in the rotation.  A grocery store near me has a big discount several times a year.  I'm buying multiple OF 100.

I'm no so much a fan of the metal screw cap, but now I'm splitting hairs. 

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Enjoy this pour (OF100) as a warm up, similar to how I would drink and Eagle Rare, or WT101 to start a night of pours with friends.   Old Foresters yeast always brings that fruit forward front palate which usually plays well before hopping into barrel proof offerings which I tend to learn towards as time progresses.

 

OF offerings in general are both readily available, and affordable which is why I recommend them to friends who may be asking for suggestions for bourbons to try.   Well rounded pour, enjoyed reading everyone's take on it. 

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Was not a fan of OF Sig - some off note that made me wonder HOW this could be related to the Birthday series.  When the Prohibition series came out, I tried them ONLY because such a wide range of SBers raved about them or at least liked them, particularly the 1920.  AGAIN, I wondered how the 1897 at 100 proof could be made by the same people who made Sig.  On the strength of my love for the 1897 (which has crept down in price a couple dollars since its introduction), I tried the OF 100.  Unlike the Sig, it had no notes that "offended" my palate.

 

In fact, I like it.  Because WT 101 KSBW AND the 1897 are so available while the OF 100 is hit or miss around me, I tend to forget about the OF even with its price advantage over the 1897.

 

THANKS for the reminder.  I shall try to remember it when browsing.

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I just opened a fresh OF 100. 👍

As to what Harry said about "Signature" - yes B-F definitely seems to be going for a different profile since they switched back to the white paper label with the current version.

The current stuff comes across as mild and balanced.

The original Signature was some heady stuff.  Just remove the bottle cap, and my whole kitchen smelled like baking a peach cobbler in the oven.  I still have a couple dusties in the bunker.  I love it, but can see how it could be polarizing.

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This is so timely. I had never ventured in OF stuff but I recently visited Louisville and toured the OF distillery. Got back home to Georgia and snagged a bottle of 1920 & 1910. I LOVE them. But, at $55 & $60 a pop kind of near the upper limit on what I'm willing to spend these days. Heck, these days the high end stuff is gone and I'm not fighting off taters. Definately going to grab me some OF 100. WT 101 is a staple as well, so good at the price point

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Picked one up today; haven't owned one in probably a year and a half, although I've had pours here & there of the 86pf and 100pf with friends in casual situations and drinkware. My biggest negative with OF in the past was a chemically iodine note on the finish that was a deal killer for me.

 

Well, I don't know if I've changed, or the bourbon has (probably me), but tonight I'm not getting that finish that I so disliked. I'm enjoying this, and at $21 at a big box store, is a terrific bargain. Glad you all FOMO'd me into buying another bottle; hope this one is typical and not a honey bottle.

 

 

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I ran across OF BIB early in my bourbon journey. I really liked it, and so I bought just a few here and there.🤥 Well maybe more than a few.  😜 At one time I had 4 or 5 handles, and numerous other bottles of all different sizes. When the BIB was discontinued for OF Signature, I bought a bottle and thought it tasted pretty close to the BIB. The next bottle wasn’t near as good. And so began an on again off again relationship with OF Signature, OF 100, and OF whatever. Name change, bottle change, label change, name change etc.. Not sure if and/or when I might try another. I have one tax stamped handle, and an open 375 ml left of the “good stuff”,  plus the new OF Tasting Set to tide me over for a while. 🤞Oh,  I also have a couple of the old OF Prohibition Repeal sets that I kept for sentimental reasons.

 

Biba! Joe


 

 

image.jpeg

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8 hours ago, lemonman said:

Picked one up today; haven't owned one in probably a year and a half, although I've had pours here & there of the 86pf and 100pf with friends in casual situations and drinkware. My biggest negative with OF in the past was a chemically iodine note on the finish that was a deal killer for me.

 

Well, I don't know if I've changed, or the bourbon has (probably me), but tonight I'm not getting that finish that I so disliked. I'm enjoying this, and at $21 at a big box store, is a terrific bargain. Glad you all FOMO'd me into buying another bottle; hope this one is typical and not a honey bottle.

 

 

I've grumbled about this in the past.  It seemed to me, that there was some sub par Signature before the change to current label.  It was right at the same time the Whiskey Row series was released.

The older Signature, and the current OF 100 all good to me.

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With the allocated stuff dying out here, it was time for me to look at the bottom shelf a bit. My favorite cocktail in town is made with the OF and I have had them made with WR, 4R & KC. The OF100 wins by a mile & the beloved author of this thread kept plugging away until I bit. (thanx Steve)

What a bite it was! A grand mixer & a worthwhile neat pour has made it a keeper...

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7 hours ago, bayouredd said:

With the allocated stuff dying out here, it was time for me to look at the bottom shelf a bit. My favorite cocktail in town is made with the OF and I have had them made with WR, 4R & KC. The OF100 wins by a mile & the beloved author of this thread kept plugging away until I bit. (thanx Steve)

What a bite it was! A grand mixer & a worthwhile neat pour has made it a keeper...

Yes! Though I'm now thinking I should be careful about talking this up too much lest it become the next big thing.

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9 hours ago, flahute said:

Yes! Though I'm now thinking I should be careful about talking this up too much lest it become the next big thing.

I came to that conclusion a few years ago myself.  If you asked me ten years ago about bourbon, it would be a two hour conversation. 

 

Now?  "Its okay but kind of harsh.  Gin is the next big thing.  But if you have a hankering for brown liquor then Crown Royal is smoooooth."

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26 minutes ago, BigRich said:

I came to that conclusion a few years ago myself.  If you asked me ten years ago about bourbon, it would be a two hour conversation. 

 

Now?  "Its okay but kind of harsh.  Gin is the next big thing.  But if you have a hankering for brown liquor then Crown Royal is smoooooth."

I used to try to educate the folks on the local tater facebook groups. Now I just let them carry on chasing all the MGP NDP brands.

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The many iterations of OF 100/Bonded/Signature have been quite dizzying over the last 25+ years.  Outside of a short run some years back that was not to my liking,l (I think PaulO and I have had some discussions previously on this) it has ranged from “good” to “excellent”.  I will pick up a 100 proof on occasion now, but honestly, prefer the 86 proof.  These entry level OFs are not the thickest bourbons out there, so at 100 proof it can get a little prickly over the palate, so the 86 proof is more consistently settled in, for me.  Regardless, it’s QPR is hard to beat, and it is a fine bourbon that every whiskey drinker should give some time to.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/20/2022 at 6:32 PM, smokinjoe said:

The many iterations of OF 100/Bonded/Signature have been quite dizzying over the last 25+ years.  Outside of a short run some years back that was not to my liking,l (I think PaulO and I have had some discussions previously on this) it has ranged from “good” to “excellent”.  I will pick up a 100 proof on occasion now, but honestly, prefer the 86 proof.  These entry level OFs are not the thickest bourbons out there, so at 100 proof it can get a little prickly over the palate, so the 86 proof is more consistently settled in, for me.  Regardless, it’s QPR is hard to beat, and it is a fine bourbon that every whiskey drinker should give some time to.  

I’ve traveled there and back through the OF line-up and frankly, it just isn’t my daily jam. Yes, I enjoy an occasional pour of 1920. And I love 1910 when I’m in the mood for it. But there’s something about the OF house profile that hits my palate like some type of sugar substitute. Like the finish of a diet cola. And I don’t like diet cola. 
 

Like you @smokinjoe, I prefer the 86 proofer to the 100. In fact it’s the most consumed OF in my stash. When I’m looking for that BF banana flavor, the 86 has it in spades. It’s consistent and pretty damn delicious. Most of the OF 100+ proof offerings have an overwhelming drying effect on my palate. Fortunately for me, the 86 proofer does not. 
 

With all that said, the 100 proof red label is certainly a good value and decently tasty. I like the 1897 better, but if you’re an OF fanboy, I can’t think of a better QPR in their portfolio.

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On 1/20/2022 at 5:32 PM, smokinjoe said:

  I will pick up a 100 proof on occasion now, but honestly, prefer the 86 proof.  These entry level OFs are not the thickest bourbons out there, so at 100 proof it can get a little prickly over the palate, so the 86 proof is more consistently settled in, for me.  

 

I'm pretty sure I'm with you on that.  My limited tastings of the 86 I've had impressed me more than the 100 proof bottles that I have at home.  I always purchased the 100 for myself just because that's the proof normally in my wheelhouse and OF100 gets good recommendations by just about anyone.  But the last BF tasting I went to made me re-think this.  My next OF purchase will be the 86, if for nothing else to get to the bottom of this question.  I still have a couple of 100's I need to work through first...

 

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Purchased some OF 1920 and am looking forward to tasting it.  Had some Original Batch a few years back and loved it.

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We into the next month from the JAN pick, but I am glad it was the JAN pick.  I bought one BECAUSE it was the JAN pick.  I now have four or so OF 100s because I already finished off the one I bought back when the thread was posted. and don't want to be without it  As I've written before, I have never been a diehard fan of OF releases, Birthday Bourbons excepted, of course.  The OF Sig had some note that drove me nuts as I could NEVER get past it.  But then, after the Prohibition series came out, the OF offerings, including the 86 and the 100, changed in my opinion to "please" my palate.  Like Joe, I find that the OF 86 really does push buttons that even my favorite 86, EWB, misses sometimes.

 

THX! for choosing it as a BOTM.  EDIT - Old dogs can learn new tricks, especially if they are brown and liquid. :o But not smelly.:(

Edited by Harry in WashDC
Old Dog tells The Truth!!
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