It’s a belated Birthday Bourbon, however, being released about four months later than normal. As the official press release below explains, the delay was caused by glass supplier problems and due to the release of Old Forester Repeal Bourbon last Fall.
Although the whiskey is just getting into circulation, I already had a sample of it back in August and reviewed it here on September 2nd. It’s a hearty, enjoyable version of Birthday Bourbon, but I prefer the 2007 release because of its seemless integration of flavors.
Here’s the press release:
Old Forester has released this year’s expression of its Birthday Bourbon in honor of George Garvin Brown, the founder of Old Forester, America’s First Bottled Bourbon™. Launched six years ago to commemorate Brown’s Birthday on September 2, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a premium, historically award-winning bourbon and a must-have for bourbon enthusiasts.
Due to the one-time release of Old Forester Repeal Bourbon along with complications with the glass supplier, this year’s version of Birthday Bourbon was delayed until now. The bourbon remains the same as it was intended to be released on September 2, having been stored in stainless steel tanks since its maturation several months ago.
“This year’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is crafted from a 62 barrel batch that was distilled and barreled in the late summer of 1995,” said Chris Morris, master distiller of Old Forester. “These barrels were entered on the sixth floor of Warehouse H on September 6, 1995. This is an upper floor location which builds heat in the summer months ensuring a robust, complex barrel character will develop. The result is a taste profile that is much more chewy in terms of rich fruit and caramel character than the 2007 and 2006 releases.”
Unlike the standard Old Forester, which is a blend of whisky from several different years, Birthday Bourbon is a vintage-dated bourbon, hand-selected by Morris from one specific day. The result is a one-of-a-kind character and flavor that will never be replicated again. Its unique decanter style glass bottle is a throwback to the late 1800’s when Old Forester was first produced.
Since its introduction in 2002, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has received unprecedented acclaim and has collected honors from USA Today, Malt Advocate, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Santé. A favorite among critics, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has taken home gold from numerous tasting competitions including a gold medal in the 2005, 2006 & 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The 2007 expression was also named American Whiskey of the Year at WhiskyFest New York.
Depending on the market, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, a Brown-Forman product, retails between $35 – $40, and is sold at most liquor stores with a wide and varied range of bourbons. The 2008 edition of Birthday Bourbon is bottled at 94 proof.