Monday, September 12, 2022

Old Forester 150th Anniversary Batch Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Batch 01/03

- $170
- 125.6 Proof
- Batch 01/03
- Kentucky

This is one of my favorite purchases I can recall.  When these came out, I honestly knew very little about them. I didn't read any of the press releases, and I really hadn't paid any attention to reviews. One day, however, they hit my store and my guy gave me a call and asked if I wanted one. I honestly didn't know if I did or not, and I certainly second-guessed the price given the lack of any age statement.

But, at that point I started doing my homework. I learned that there were three different batches of the 150th anniversary, each blended from a batch of about 50 barrels and each batch being blended to its own, unique profile. This particular batch, Batch 01/03 was blended to achieve more of a rich, spicy, dark fruit-forward profile, which sounded absolutely incredible. So, I was sold, and I called him back to hold my spot for one.  After I purchased my bottle, I invited him to my office after work, where he and I were both completely wowed by this bottle!

The nose absolutely hit that as-described profile. I immediately got notes of chocolate and walnut. There was also a dark cherry note on the nose, almost like a Luxardo cherry. I also got a decent amount of rich oak, but without any of those bitter tannic notes.

The flavor was a rich and decadent mix of dark fruits, including dark cherry and blackberry, which all seemed to commingle with a rich (yes, I'm using that word a lot here) dark chocolate note. It tasted like a dessert you might order at a very fancy and very expensive restaurant.

Despite its proof, the heat on this bourbon was very minimal, yet it absolutely maintained a nice, thick viscosity.  Accordingly, what heat that was there was well-balanced by a rich, molasses like sweetness. That sweet and dark note paired with the constant dark fruit notes only further led to that super expensive dessert experience.

The finish provided a bit of a peppery spice to go along with the dark cherry, and thanks to the high proof, those two notes, which went great together, also stuck around for a really long time. In fact, it felt as though I had just eaten a bourbon-soaked cherry and that flavor just lingered. It was kind of like eating the Luxardo cherry after finishing an Old Fashioned, only more bourbon-soaked.

This is one of the best bottles I've enjoyed in a long time. For a while I was saving the last few pours, and then I decided that I couldn't bear it any more, and family movie night became as good an excuse as any to polish this off. And I'm so glad I did, because this was an absolutely amazing bourbon.

Grade: A+

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