Certainly one of Previous Forester’s most coveted whiskeys is returning later this summer time, and our early sampling reveals it could be among the finest in recent times. No, it’s most likely not the finest. That is the twenty first version of Birthday Bourbon because it was launched in 2002, and whereas we’ve tasted all of them (sure, each one in every of them), it’s exhausting to select favorites. However a number of issues set this 12 months’s above many earlier releases.
Previous Forester Distillery stuffed these 119 12-year-old barrels on April 16, 2009. They matured in Warehouse G, the place numerous good things has come from as of late (see: This Was the Rarest Whiskey of 2020—and There’s Solely 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 bit pressured. Others, although, have imbued the model with an enthralling sense of humanity, like when one 12 months’s launch consisted of numerous 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 actually freaking good. You will get a way of that from the preliminary tasting notes from grasp taster Jackie Zykan.
“This 12 months, we’ve composed a daring, compelling providing which showcases the distinctive fruit-forward facet of Previous 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On the nostril, we famous deep, smoky hints of outdated oak; shiny, zippy hints of cream soda; and a nostalgic reverberation of cherry cough syrup.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 Method 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 every of Previous Forester’s most classically styled birthday bourbons in latest reminiscence—it’s quirky in some senses, however largely it’s only a actually good instance of what the Previous Forester mash invoice can do given sufficient time.
Previous Forester has put out some actually unimaginable bottles just lately, together with its a hundred and fiftieth anniversary batches, and the primary single barrel alternatives from its rye mashbill. However this 2021 Previous Forester Birthday Bourbon appears to place a finer level on the underlying message: This distillery is aware of what it does finest, and it’s going to maintain doing simply that.
The 2021 batch of Previous Forester Birthday Bourbon will likely be accessible 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 Previous Forester Distilling Co.
It would carry a urged retail value of $130, however with taxes and different upsales, you possibly can anticipate to pay considerably extra in most states—if you could find it in any respect. Fortunately, should you begin now, there’s loads of time to begin planning your search.
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