September 1, 2008

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Bill Dowd photo

This is a historic creation, marking the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with a new version of the first whiskey brand ever to be bottled (1870). I had a preview tasting of it although it won't go on sale until November.

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

There is a special relationship between Old Forester and Prohibition. It was produced legally during that period under one of only 10 government permits to produce bourbon for "medicinal purposes." Thus, it is the only bourbon brand still in existence that has been sold continuously for more than a century.

This one-time, limited-release expression from master distiller Chris Morris has outside trappings of a historic whiskey -- a 375ml bottle in the 1933 flask style; an old-fashioned label mostly handwritten -- and is packaged in a special gift kit that includes an embossed tasting glass, an Old Forester company pen, and a reproduction scroll of the passage of the 22nd Amendment that repealed Prohibition.

The whiskey is a classic bourbon with its vanilla, caramel and brown sugar notes and orange-amber coloring, but it is much more complex than that. A definite note of chocolate and berries gives it a chocolate-covered cherry characteristic. Orange notes that are suggested by the coloring begin to come through as the whiskey opens up, and the well-oaked liquid carries hints of spice and mint.

This is, overall, a warm, crisp, satisfying bourbon. It's a shame it's a one-time-only offering.

Suggested retail price: $24.99 for the package.

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