Old Forester Signature is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky that is a descendant of Old Forester bottled in Bond. And yes, you saw that right (it was not a typo), it is Whisky. When someone wants to argue that American Whiskey is always spelled using an “e”, you can point to another of the few bourbons that do not follow the norm, and misconception that it is a mandatory rule. It is not.
Old Forester holds the title of the longest produced bourbon, going back to 1870. It has been able to be in continual production the entire time (unlike most other bourbons) because during prohibition it was one of a hand full of distilleries able to get a a license to produce medicinal whiskey.
To find out more about Old Forester Signature and their other offerings at their website: oldforester.com.
SERVED: Neat / Glencairn Glass
COLOR: Deep Copper
Coats the glass well and leads one to think it would have thick legs, but it does not. It forms long thin legs spaced modestly around the glass, leaving a general coating behind.
NOSE: Burned sugars, caramel and a kiss of vanilla, dark fruits, raisins and figs, cherries, spice, and some citrus, followed with peppermint and a touch of oak.
PALATE: Smooth and slightly oily. Spice and cinnamon lead the way, followed closely by vanilla, cherry, cola, and butterscotch. A bit of oak peaks in, as well as a touch of leather.
FINISH: Long finish with medium heat. I expected more heat being 100 Proof, but it is still very pleasant. Faint sweetness, vanilla, and a kiss of spice. The oak takes a more prominent role than in the palate; solid but not overly bitter that it becomes a problem. There is also a hint of citrus that dances between the other notes. Maybe some cherry, and cola step up as the other notes fade away. And then brown sugar.
OVERVIEW: I truly enjoy this pour. What at first may not seem like a very complex sip really starts to open up and change your mind as you drink more of it. It almost changes from sip to sip, making you notice different things with each new sip. Old Forester Signature is a bourbon that makes me really want to pay attention to what is going on. It is very enjoyable, and certainly well worth the price. It shows why they have been in production for so long. Hat tip to Old Forester, and another sip.
ADDED: A good many spicy whisk(e)ys are sweet forward and then the spices kick in. This one is very spice forward and then the sweet follows; and then the heat of the finish. It creates a very interesting drinking experience that is quite pleasurable (if you enjoy spice). And while I enjoy dark chocolate with most whisk(e)ys, some are just more suited for it than others. This one is awesome with dark chocolate.
OXIDATION NOTE: With a good bit of oxidation, the spice forward switches to more traditional sweet forward. I was actually quite surprised at how sweet it becomes with generous oxidation. It is still a simply wonderful pour though.