2021’s Outdated Forester Birthday Bourbon Is the Finest in Years

Considered one of Outdated Forester’s most coveted whiskeys is returning later this summer time, and our early sampling exhibits it could be among the best in recent times. No, it’s most likely not the finest. That is the 21st version of Birthday Bourbon because it was launched in 2002, and whereas we’ve tasted all of them (sure, each one in every of them), it’s exhausting to select favorites. However just a few issues set this 12 months’s above many earlier releases.

Outdated Forester Distillery crammed these 119 12-year-old barrels on April 16, 2009. They matured in Warehouse G, the place a variety of great things has come from as of late (see: This Was the Rarest Whiskey of 2020—and There’s Only One Barrel), earlier than being batched, and bottled at 104 proof.

Birthday Bourbon releases have at all times been fascinating and quirky. The lot of barrels used to make this whiskey batch has at all times had a “story” behind it, although typically these tales have been a little forced. Others, although, have imbued the model with an enthralling sense of humanity, like when one 12 months’s launch consisted of a variety of whiskey that took a day longer to make, as a result of a squirrel shorted out an influence line in the midst of fermentation.

However 2021 proves you don’t want a narrative if the whiskey is basically freaking good. You will get a way of that from the preliminary tasting notes from grasp taster Jackie Zykan.

“This 12 months, we’ve composed a daring, compelling providing which showcases the distinctive fruit-forward facet of Outdated Forester,” says Zykan. “Playful berry undertones with summery dessert notes stability out to our flagship spice end whereas taking sippers on a textural journey from velvety to dry mouthfeel.”

On the nostril, we famous deep, smoky hints of previous oak; vivid, zippy hints of cream soda; and a nostalgic reverberation of cherry cough syrup.

On the palate, it’s misleadingly grain ahead at first, however confidently pivots to a variety of dessert favorites. A definite Milky Approach stability of nougat and caramel dominates, however because it strikes towards the end, jammy berry cobbler notes counterbalance a definite cinnamon warmth with some tart, gooey sweetness.

That is one in every of Outdated Forester’s most classically styled birthday bourbons in current reminiscence—it’s quirky in some senses, however principally it’s only a actually good instance of what the Outdated Forester mash invoice can do given sufficient time.

Outdated Forester has put out some really incredible bottles just lately, together with its 150th anniversary batches, and the primary single barrel alternatives from its rye mashbill. However this 2021 Outdated Forester Birthday Bourbon appears to place a finer level on the underlying message: This distillery is aware of what it does finest, and it’s going to maintain doing simply that.

The 2021 batch of Outdated Forester Birthday Bourbon can be accessible beginning on the birthday of George Garvin Brown (September 2) in the identical restricted retail capability as previous years, in addition to on the retail store at Outdated Forester Distilling Co.

It’ll carry a steered retail value of $130, however with taxes and different upsales, you possibly can count on to pay considerably extra in most states—if yow will discover it in any respect. Fortunately, in the event you begin now, there’s loads of time to start out planning your search.

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