...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Old Forester Rye

There have been three failed attempts at starting this post in a witty fashion, so I'll just say it outright: I do not like Brown-Forman's standard American whiskies, from any of their distilleries.

The catch is I've never had any of their ryes, nor any of their new Old Foresters. And I'm trying to expand my mind and palate when it comes to spirits I don't like. For instance, I used to think all tequila was foul. But I've had good tequila now. I mean, it still makes me vomit, but it tasted better on the way down.

My point is, Old Forester Rye. It's new, it's under $30 and it's rye. The official site even has a mash bill. I'm going to fix myself a Manhattan first, then try the rye neat. I hope this works!

Brand: Old Forester
Company: Brown-Forman
Distillery: Old Forester Distillery
Region: Louisville, Kentucky
Type: Straight rye
Age: NAS
Mashbill:  65/15/20 Rye/Corn/Barley
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
(many thank yous to Jack for the sample!)

MANHATTAN, 2:1 ratio
I'm easy when it comes to Manhattans made with Carpano Antica. They're either bad, good or great. And more than three-quarters of the Carpano Antica Manhattans I've had are of the good or great categories.

It is with some relief that I can say my Old Forester Rye Manhattan fits in the good category. It starts out woody for a brief second, then slides right into a fruity spicy zone from which it never returns. Cherries, oranges, wood spice and anise (which is Kristen's note).


The nose starts off with simple rye grain and oak notes. Then it picks up brine, black pepper, fennel seed and mint leaf. This is met with a mix floral and toasted grain notes as well as apricot jam and peaches. The palate is surprisingly fruity up front. Lots of black cherry syrup/soda and a little bit of orange candy. Not much outright oak. It starts with moderate levels of sweetness and pepper, then they slowly expand. It finishes sweet and berry-ish, with small notes of orange candy, pepper and salt.


I like it.

There, I wrote it. In tiny font.

I think I like it even better than the current Wild Turkey 101 rye. In any case, it's my favorite Brown-Forman standard American whiskey release. Its bright fruitiness and lack of aggressive tannins hits all the right spots for me. Works as a cocktail and works neat. If Ohio liquor stores actually sell this, then I'm going to get a bottle. Thanks to Bourbon Guy, whose review made me consider trying this B-F product someday. And thanks again to Jack for helping make this happen.

Availability - Slowly expanding across the US since 2/1/19
Pricing - $24-$32
Rating - 84