Certainly one of Outdated Forester’s most coveted whiskeys is returning later this summer season, and our early sampling reveals it could be among the finest in recent times. No, it’s in all probability not the greatest. That is the 21st version of Birthday Bourbon because it was launched in 2002, and whereas we’ve tasted all of them (sure, each one in all them), it’s arduous to choose favorites. However a number of issues set this yr’s above many earlier releases.
Outdated Forester Distillery stuffed these 119 12-year-old barrels on April 16, 2009. They matured in Warehouse G, the place loads of good things has come from as of late (see: This Was the Rarest Whiskey of 2020—and There’s Only One Barrel), earlier than being batched, and bottled at 104 proof.
Birthday Bourbon releases have at all times been attention-grabbing and quirky. The lot of barrels used to make this whiskey batch has at all times had a “story” behind it, although typically these tales have been a little forced. Others, although, have imbued the model with an enthralling sense of humanity, like when one yr’s launch consisted of loads of whiskey that took a day longer to make, as a result of a squirrel shorted out an influence line in the midst of fermentation.
However 2021 proves you don’t want a narrative if the whiskey is absolutely freaking good. You may get a way of that from the preliminary tasting notes from grasp taster Jackie Zykan.
“This yr, we’ve composed a daring, compelling providing which showcases the distinctive fruit-forward facet of Outdated Forester,” says Zykan. “Playful berry undertones with summery dessert notes steadiness out to our flagship spice end whereas taking sippers on a textural journey from velvety to dry mouthfeel.”
On the nostril, we famous deep, smoky hints of outdated oak; shiny, zippy hints of cream soda; and a nostalgic reverberation of cherry cough syrup.
On the palate, it’s misleadingly grain ahead at first, however confidently pivots to a spread of dessert favorites. A definite Milky Manner steadiness of nougat and caramel dominates, however because it strikes towards the end, jammy berry cobbler notes counterbalance a definite cinnamon warmth with some tart, gooey sweetness.
That is one in all Outdated Forester’s most classically styled birthday bourbons in current reminiscence—it’s quirky in some senses, however largely it’s only a actually good instance of what the Outdated Forester mash invoice can do given sufficient time.
Outdated Forester has put out some really incredible bottles just lately, together with its 150th anniversary batches, and the primary single barrel picks from its rye mashbill. However this 2021 Outdated Forester Birthday Bourbon appears to place a finer level on the underlying message: This distillery is aware of what it does greatest, and it’s going to maintain doing simply that.
The 2021 batch of Outdated Forester Birthday Bourbon shall be obtainable beginning on the birthday of George Garvin Brown (September 2) in the identical restricted retail capability as previous years, in addition to on the retail store at Outdated Forester Distilling Co.
It would carry a steered retail value of $130, however with taxes and different upsales, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay considerably extra in most states—if you will discover it in any respect. Fortunately, if you happen to begin now, there’s loads of time to begin planning your search.
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