Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016

old-forester-birthday-bourbon-2016Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016
Bottled at 97 Proof at the Brown-Forman Distillery, in Louisville, KY
Each year they release this 12 year old Bourbon on September 2nd in honor of the founder George Gavin Brown.  Thought tonight was appropriate to crack it open and review it on Nov. 2nd to honor a great friend of mine’s Birthday Sully! Orange was it favorite color and this year’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ribbon just so happened to be orange, quite fitting for the occasion!
Pretty rare in MA was told only 42 bottles made it this year and nearly half of those bottles were allocated to restaurants.  If you see it on a shelf pick it up!
Nose – Strong oak, Citrus and Cinnamon (once you let it breathe a bit)
Taste – Spice from Rye, Sweet, Citrus, Cloves and Oak
Finish – Long and Lingering Fruit and Peppery
Value –  Pick this one up for a special occasion or someone who really appreciates bourbon!  Cheers Big Guy!

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I.W. Harper – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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I.W. Harper – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 82 Proof, Aged at Stitzel-Weller Distillery contains whiskeys distilled at the current Bernheim Distillery,  but Distilled in Tullahoma, TN
NAS (No Age Statement) on the bottle, but it’s at least 4 years
Pretty common to find on the shelves in MA usually range $30-$35
Nose – Sweet, Banana Fosters
Taste – Smooth, Light, Sweet, Big Caramel, Vanilla and Short Bread
Finish –  Short, Dry, Oak with a touch of spice and Almond
Value – Huge fan of this one! Definitely one of my top 5 favorite noses for a whiskey.  A great nightly sipper and you can’t beat the price.

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Elmer T. Lee – Single Barrel Bourbon

ElmerTLee.jpgElmer T. Lee Single Barrel – Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bottled at 90 Proof, Distilled at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, KY
No Age Statement on the bottle, but it’s said to be aged for 12 years
I seem to find this one locally pretty often every few weeks.  Paid $30 have seen it as low as $28 and as high as $50 in MA.
Nose – Honey, Vanilla and Clove
Taste – Honey, Raisins, Pepper and Cherries
Finish – Long and Warm, Burnt Sugar, some Oak,
Value – There is a lot of hype about this bottle!  If you can find for $30-$35 I’d say give it a shot if you’ve never tried it.  It’s a single barrel bourbon that is supposedly aged 12 years so that’s a great price.  Personally I still can’t seem to like this one.  A lot of people I know love it, but to me it’s just not there, it’s missing something.

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Michter’s US *1- Original Sour Mash Whiskey

michterssourmashMichter’s US*1- Original Sour Mash Whiskey
NAS (No Age Statement)
NDP (Non-Distiller Producer) Obtains mostly through contracts
Bottled at 86.6 Proof  Michter’s Distillery Shively (Louisville), KY
I paid $39.99, but have seen it as high as $48
Have not seen it in many stores in MA, but ones that carry the Michter’s label you will find it in.
Nose: Fruit and spice notes along with a bit of oak
Taste:  Fruit, corn with some caramel and then the spice kicks in a bit.
Finish:  Smooth and Full with some fruity sweetness, some vanilla and spice from the rye.
Value:  One that can be easily sipped and enjoyed.  Wish it was priced closer to the $30 range.

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Stagg, Jr. Batch #5 – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

20160802_193724_wmStagg, Jr. Batch #5 – Kentucky Straight Bourbon
No Age Statement on bottle believed to be 9 years
Barrel Proof, Bottled at 129.7 Proof by Buffalo Trace
Distillery in Frankfort, KY
$49.99 for it at my local store, but have seen it as high as $99 around MA. I’ve only seen it at four stores over the last 2 years.  It can be difficult to find as it’s only released 2 times a year.

Nose:  Fairly light nose, hint of chocolate,clove and vanilla

Taste:  Smooth for 129.7 proof!  sweet, brown sugar with some bitter chocolate, hint of smoke, some spice from the rye

Finish:  Full and Rich, just the right amount of oak, binge cherries, doesn’t last as long as I would like!

Value: A must buy at $49.99 for a cask strength bourbon!

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