Old Forester 1870 Original Batch

We've previously reviewed the bottom-shelf lingering, 86 proof Old Forester, the superior, higher proof Old Forester Signature, and the oh-so-delicioucs nectar of the gods 2014 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.  

Recently, Brown-Forman began marketing its "Whiskey Row" series (spelled with an "e" despite the fact that Old Forester displays the Scottish spelling of "whisky" on its label).  The Whiskey Row series pays tribute to Louisville, Kentucky's "whiskey row," a block long stretch on W. Main Street that served as the bourbon industry's heart until Prohibition shut it down in the 1920's.  At one point, more than 50 operations were distilling and producing bourbon between 101 and 133 W. Main Street- including George Garvin Brown and his half-brother John Thompson Street Brown, makers of the original Old Forester.

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch is a blend of barrels from three separate warehouses.  It is "minimally filtered" to "honor the processes available to George Garvin Brown" in 1870.  (GG and JTS Brown were famous for buying up stock from three distinct distillers and blending it to produce Old Forester- I suppose they did some "minimal filtering" before they blended and bottled).

The modern Original Batch was approved by Marianne Barnes, Chris Morris' protege, and perhaps the most notable female in the modern bourbon industry.  

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch

90 proof
$48 at Spears Creek Liquor Store in Columbia, SC

Color: Burnt orange. 

Nose: The nose is bright with floral, sherry-like sweetness.  There is the faintest touch of oak. There are unpleasant notes in there too- a vegetal funk, some salty air perhaps, not a lot of alcohol- which can be good sometimes, but not here.  

Tasting Notes:  The entrance is smooth, but unlike most bourbons, it doesn't develop.  No pop whatsoever. The flat entrance stumbles into a smoky, harsh, cinnamon-heavy, drip. I'll re-visit it (because we paid $48 for the bottle)...but I was not a happy camper when we cracked this thing. I honestly wonder if we got an "off" bottle.

Overall: D.  Extremely disappointed. Will [perhaps] give the second release in the Whiskey Row series (Old Forester Bottled in Bond) a go.  

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