This September, Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky will introduce its 17th release of Birthday Bourbon: the annual limited-edition expression that pays homage to founder George Garvin Brown’s Sept. 2 birthday.
The 2017 Birthday Bourbon barrel selection was drawn from 12-year-old barrels from different warehouses and floors on May 27, 2005. Ninety-three barrels matured together on the fourth floor of G warehouse, yielding a spice-forward expression. The remaining 27 barrels matured together on the fifth floor of K warehouse, contributing a rounding sweetness to the blend.
During the transfer of bourbon from the holding tank to the bottling line, alcohol vapors were lost during bottling, causing the proof to drop. As a result, this year’s Birthday Bourbon will be presented at both 96 proof and 95.4 proof. This distinction is identifiable in the proof statements on the bottle.
The 2017 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon will be on shelves with a suggested retail price of $79.99 per 750-ml. bottle. Florida and Georgia will receive the 95.4 proof expression and remaining states will receive the 96-proof expression. Kentucky is the only state which will receive both expressions with the 96-proof expression shipping first.
On the nose is toasted oak and black pepper, the company says, with a heavy suggestion of orange oil and toffee. The taste is of oak spice and charred black pepper over a subtle core of chocolate custard and kola nut. The finish is a spicy perimeter mouthfeel, the company reports, with floral undertones and cocoa powder.