Old Forester was founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown. Every September 2nd, Old Forester releases a limited edition, vintage-dated bourbon to commemorate his birthday and legacy. The media kit for this year's Birthday Bourbon noted that it is being released at both 96 proof and 95.4 proof. This is a result of alcohol vapors being lost during the bottling process as bourbon was transferred from the holding tank to the bottling line. The sample I received from Brown-Forman is the 96 proof bottling.
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 96 proof
Nose: Sweet caramel and whip cream with toasted oak, walnuts, and a hint of citrus.
Taste: Tobacco and pepper spice balance out a sweet body of sugar cane, cocoa powder, and Boston cream.
Finish: Subtle sweetness quickly fades into a drying oak.
Conclusion: Although this fell a bit short from expectations set by prior releases, I very much enjoyed the 2017 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. It's well balanced and easy to drink. If you can find it anywhere close to MSRP, I suggest taking it home with you. Until next year, Happy Birthday George!
Rating: B+ (Very Good)