Singel Barrels | Brown-Forman Distillery | Old Forester Distillery | Review

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Nov 6, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel StrengthDetails
ProofVaries by Barrel
ABVVaries by Barrel
AgeVaries by Barrel
Suggested MSRP$79.99
DistilleryBrown Forman
BrandOld Forester
InventoryKeep Stocked

For years, Old Forester was doing single barrels but no Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength offerings. The bourbon community was clamoring for higher proofer single barrel picks from Old Fo especially because their standard barrel strength 1920 is so highly regarded.

Lo and behold 2020 was the year. I can obviously only speak to the picks I’ve had but the early consensus on these seems to be highly positive. I’ve seen several picks getting high, high praise from trusted members of the bourbon community. Needless to say, I was on the hunt for just the right bottle, so when one of my favorite collaborators made a pick together I was lucky to nab a bottle. On top of that, they went full tater with an amazing sticker and wax top paying homage to Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon.

On top of all of this, my family recently welcomed a new puppy into our family which was born the week Birthday Bourbon released and I was able to get this Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength from Jigz Liquor + Bourbon Sippers the week he came home. See the picture below:

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review (Jigz Liquor + Bourbon Sippers)

Without further ado, my Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength review below. TLDR; it was amazing.

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Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review (Jigz Liquor + Bourbon Sippers)

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review (Jigz Liquor + Bourbon Sippers)

Cork Pop – 5 out of 5

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength in the Glass

Medium viscosity with thin but long legs. The color is honey amber.

Nose – 97 Points

Some bourbon slaps you in the face the minute you open the bottle. This Old Forester did just that. The second the cork popped — WAM! Olfactory overload.

My mom and my wife make the best banana pudding in the world. This nose is that banana pudding with hints of charred, smokey oak, caramel, and burnt sugar. Not a hint of ethanol for such a high proof.

Taste – 97 Points

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review (Jigz Liquor + Bourbon Sippers)

The front of the palate is banana and caramel forward like a deliciously rich banana foster. It’s got a creamy mouthfeel and a beautiful balance of charred oak and baking spice down the side palate and into the finish.

With a splash of water — just a few drops of water made the sweet notes pop even more and made the finish creamy and tamed the spice. This bourbon doesn’t need the water. It was perfectly balanced without it.

Finish – 96 Points

The sweet banana and caramel notes are more subtle in the finish and there’s a more rounded savory, baking spice note with hints of oak and black pepper. It finishes dry. But it doesn’t disappoint and is a fantastic finish for a great single barrel.

Verdict – Gold 97 out of 100 Points

This was one of the best bourbons from snout to tail. It doesn’t have a glaring weakness. I’ve often gotten a banana bread note from Old Forester bourbons but this barrel strength single barrel adds layers of richness, and complexity, and intrigue to that note.

Now, full disclosure this is a single barrel, but in the bourbon groups, I’m in I’ve yet to hear a bad review of an Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength. I’d like to try two to three to have a better baseline but wow not sure how many would stack up against this powerhouse.

Share your Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength tasting notes in the comments below and tell me what store or group made the pick.

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Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.
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