Shave and a haircut. Four quick reviews.

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Old Forester Rye. Super candied nose. Bananas Forester, banana split, skittles, marshmallows, graham crackers. Pretty easy down for 100 Proof. Medium mouthfeel. Nice hug. Finish does go a little bitter at the end though after a minute. Lots of hype here. Very good for $25, but not one I will bunker. 88/100.

1792 Full Proof NCF Single Barrel from 99 Bottles, 125 Proof. This one was around $55, not bad for a Barrel strength whiskey. Nutty, coconut, Necco wafers and waffles. Better mouthfeel and medium heat for the Proof. Mouthfeel builds with intensity in a good way with an enjoyable hug. Caramel and butter comes through at the end. Finish a solid two minutes. I’m generally not a 1792 fan, but this is the best one I’ve ever had. If you like 1792, this is a must get bottle. 92/100.

Barrell Dovetail finished in Dunn Cabernet barrels, 122.9 Proof. Incredible nose, so much going on. Brown sugar, Twix, cassis, totally enveloping. Crazy how easy this goes down for the Proof. I’m loving this Dunn cask finish. Finish 2-3 minutes. This is totally unique and special—tongue completely enveloped with tart cherry and tannic goodness. Glad I grabbed a couple at $80. Seeing it trade double that in secondary. 96/100.

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 16yr Twin Oak. Mixed reviews on this one, but going in unbiased. Strong wood nose but with waves of vanilla and charcoal. For 94 Proof the mouthfeel is better than expected. Interesting tastes but certainly quite a bit of oak. On the good side the finish goes for two minutes and improves instead of bowing out into bitterness. It’s a good Bourbon, but probably not worth the retail price. Worth a try at a bar. 92/100.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is an annual release on September 2nd celebrating George Brown’s birthday–the founder of Old Forester. This is a 12yr bottled at 97 proof. I was not a huge fan of last year’s OFBB and I’m hoping this year is better.

Beautiful dark amber with golden hues.

Nose has mushroom, forestry smells off the bat with nail polish undertones. After waiting a while the acetone goes into the background and candied orange peel, charcoal, graham cracker and cloves hit the nose.

The taste is smooth and easy going. Solid warmth but not overly complex. The finish is moderate and enjoyable with further spice flavors coming out in the back.

Birthday Bourbon kicks off Bourbon Season so it’s always a whiskey people feel the need to get. But this one, like last year’s, isn’t a must buy. If you find it at retail price, go for it, but don’t feel the need to pay up. Add a little water to increase the smoothness, but it doesn’t make any significant improvements.  86/100.

Here’s last year’s review: https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/old-forester-birthday-bourbon-2015/

 

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Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2015

I originally wrote this review several months ago, but resisted publishing it because I thought maybe I was wrong, or that the bourbon needed more time open to show… but I tried it again tonight and I stand by my original conclusions….

So my birthday was last week (October) and I couldn’t find this Bourbon on the shelves anywhere… But I was in a store on Sunday and they had one left in stock. Happy belated birthday to me!  OFBB 2015 is a 100 proof, 12 year whiskey from our friends at Brown-Forman, better known for Jack Daniels, but have been doing even more with their Old Forester brand recently.  Released once a year on September 2nd to celebrate the birthday of George Garvin Brown.  First released in 2002, OFBB has become one of those must have bottles for collectors.

First impressions…. This whiskey is another one of those when first opened smells of dirty mushrooms and nail polish, causing me to let it set for a while. I’m just not sure what it is sometimes that makes new bourbons require aeration, but this isn’t the first and it definitely won’t be the last.

The color is a bright Amber with orange hues.

After the glass had been sitting there for over an hour the smell changed to burnt orange, crushed almonds and wet leaves; the mushroomy smells are still lingering in the background, but fortunately the offensive smells had dissipated.

Good mouthfeel with nice integrated wood tannins. There is a sweet citrusy flavor rather than the normal spicy butterscotch. It has what I can only describe as a high acid profile like certain wines. It’s very different than I expected but not necessarily in a bad way.

I added a few drops of water and it definitely needed it. The nose is fresher and the taste is better.  It still maintains the burnt orange smell and flavor. It’s enjoyable but not my favorite.

Much like my actual birthday, this bourbon wasn’t up to the hype and fairly disappointing. It’s good, it’s just not worth the price or effort.  85/100.

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