Whisky Advocate

Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 2010 release

September 14th, 2010

This year’s release of Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon, a 12 year old from 1997, will (hopefully) be heading to a retailer near you soon. This one is pretty spicy, but I like it!

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 1997 Vintage, 12 year old, 47.5%, $50
Big and spicy, but contrasted by layers of sweetness. Vibrant dried spice (warming cinnamon, crisp mint, nutmeg, cigar box), caramel, nougat, hint of chocolate fudge laced with coconut, black raspberry and dried citrus. Very warming on the finish, with a nice resinous grip without being over-oaked. A very dynamic whiskey.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 91

17 Responses to “Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 2010 release”

  1. Gary says:

    I just picked up a bottle of this last week. I found it here in CT. Looking forward to giving it a taste this weekend. Very interesting tasting notes. Thank you John.

  2. John, do you know of availability outside the USA? I’m quite interested in such highly rated bourbons!

  3. Vince says:

    I cant wait to get my hands on a couple of bottles of this. I love all of the birthday bourbons. I am headed to the International Bourbon Festival this weekend. Something tells me I may run into a bottle or two there:)

  4. Red_Arremer says:

    Sounds cool, particularly the black raspberry note and these are always reasonably priced. What’s the proof?

    • Marc says:

      Look as though the neck of the bottle reads 95 Proof. Seems like the Birthday Bourbons are hit or miss, no? 1993, very excellent. 1994, not so excellent.

      • Josh says:

        This one is excellent Marc, really really good. Completely different from last year’s edition.

      • Vince says:

        They can be completely different from year to year and while I find some years better than others I think they are always “very good” to “great”. I know John really panned last years but I found it to be a fantastic bourbon. (more in line with Pacult’s review of it).

    • John Hansell says:

      Oops! Sorry. I accidentally put the age in twice and didn’t put the ABV. I corrected it.

  5. Texas says:

    never had Old Forester (Birthday or otherwise) at all..this sounds very good.

  6. I have always liked the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon but everytime I recommend it, my customers glaze over. I think it is priced to inexpensive, I am not one to think anyone should raise prices but this whiskey I think would benefit from an increase.

    • Texas says:

      You’d know your customers better than me, but $50 seems plenty. Especially with EWSB at $25. Maybe they just equate Old Forester as a bottom/middle shelf brand?

    • Marc says:

      I would have to agree. We price it similarly to EWSB, EZRA B SB, and Eagle Rare SB, but most people lean towards either the Ezra or Eagle Rare. One woman religiously calls for it in her Manhattan, and she had never had it before our tasting.

  7. sam k says:

    Late in the comment game here, but these are among my favorite releases year on year.

  8. Vince says:

    I just purchased a bottle and tasted it over the weekend. Fantastic bourbon! I agree with John. I went out and purchased 3 more bottles of it. If you find it, buy it!

  9. Ryan says:

    Extremely late in the comment game here, but I also just purchased a bottle (my first for this brand) and was impressed. Heavy oak on the nose, and I momentarily braced myself for a mouthful of the same, but was instead surprised by some of the same contrasting notes that John describes.

    In the past, my bias toward other seasonal bourbon releases led me to pass this one up without much thought, but I will not be so dismissive in the future.

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