Released to commemorate Louisville’s Whiskey Row, as well as the period in US history that shaped a lot of Whiskey brands as we know them today, Old Forester Prohibition has a lot of history behind it.
Old Forester dates back to the 1870s, when it was first sold on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. It became well established as the first Bourbon to be sold in a sealed glass bottle and was made by George Garvin Brown.
He named it after Dr. William Forrester, who was a customer of Brown’s when he sold pharmaceuticals. When Forrester retired, Brown removed the second r form the brand name. Today Old Forester is owned by Brown-Forman and captures the history of the brand.
1920 Prohibition Style
Part of this homage to the history of Old Forester and Whiskey in general, is Brown-Forman’s Whiskey Row series, which celebrates the heart of the Whiskey industry in Louisville.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon celebrates a time when very few producers where allowed to create alcohol.
In fact, Brown-Forman themselves were one of these, as they were granted a license to continue making Old Forester for medicinal purposes.
This Whiskey has been created in the same style as the brand was making back in the 1920s. It has been bottled at 115 proof, as back then, Whiskey had to be bottled at 100 proof, and as such, it was placed in the barrels at 100 proof. Taking account of the angel’s share, the makers of Old Forester estimate prohibition Whiskey would have been around 115 proof.
The nose opens with lots of dark fruits and sweet, nutty marzipan. It is wonderfully saccharine and sweet. It is thick with maple syrup and caramel, and a hint of soft oak in the background. These flavours mix well with the bitter coffee and dark chocolate that also come through. This is a wonderfully bold Bourbon.
The palate is full of big flavours, with lots more caramel and malt. sweet nuts and more dark fruits also come through. The caramel and syrup give it a lovely, thick mouth feel.
Some spicier notes also appear and the oak wood is chewy and warming. They go well with the vanilla and caramel tones. The malt and cereal notes that also appear add a really lovely backdrop for the sweeter, spicier tones to bounce off.
The finish is bold, with big notes of oak and vanilla making for a well-rounded finish.
This is a brilliant malt, with lots of flavour and complexity. It will transport you back to an interesting time in Whiskey, and one that we thankfully don’t have to live in now!