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Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2009)


Joe Riley
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I look forward to this every year. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

ofbirthdaybottle08.jpg

From Brown-Forman:

"Old Forester Releases 2009 Birthday Bourbon Edition Award Winning Bourbon Celebrates Founder's Birthday

Louisville, Ky. – Old Forester has released this year's expression of its Birthday Bourbon in honor of George Garvin Brown, the founder of Louisville-based Brown-Forman and Old Forester, America's First Bottled Bourbon™. Launched seven years ago to commemorate Brown's Birthday on September 2, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a limited-edition, historically award-winning bourbon and a must-have for bourbon enthusiasts.

"This year's vintage release of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is crafted from a 98 barrel batch," said Chris Morris, master distiller of Old Forester. "These barrels were stored in the small warehouse B and larger warehouse J, on their 5th and 8th floors respectively. These upper floor locations exposed the barrels to a great degree of heat during the summer months which resulted in a rich, complex maturation profile."

Unlike the standard Old Forester, which is a blend of whisky from several different years, Birthday Bourbon is a vintage-dated bourbon, hand-selected by Morris from one specific day of production. The result is a one-of-a-kind character and flavor that will never be replicated again. Its unique decanter style glass bottle is a throwback to the late 1800's when Old Forester was first produced.

Since its introduction in 2002, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has received unprecedented acclaim and has collected honors from USA Today, Malt Advocate, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Santé. A favorite among critics, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has taken home gold from numerous tasting competitions including a gold medal in the 2005, 2006 & 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The 2007 expression was also named American Whiskey of the Year at WhiskyFest New York.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, a Brown-Forman product, has a suggested retail price of $39.99 and is sold at most liquor stores with a wide and varied range of bourbons. The 2009 edition of Birthday Bourbon is bottled at 97 proof, to correspond with the year it was distilled, 1997."

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Never having had it, just a few things jumped out at me in the release....

This year's vintage release of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is crafted from a 98 barrel batch...
Birthday Bourbon is a vintage-dated bourbon, hand-selected by Morris from one specific day of production

98 barrel selection is a part of one day's production....

These upper floor locations exposed the barrels to a great degree of heat during the summer months which resulted in a rich, complex maturation profile

Selecting for concentration and extractions isn't limited to wineries in the tank for high Parker scores....

The 2009 edition of Birthday Bourbon is bottled at 97 proof, to correspond with the year it was distilled, 1997[/Quote]

It's bottled at 97 proof to match its vintage date. Too bad they didn't decide to bottle it at the proof that made it taste best :(

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Beam Global (Beam, Makers)

Heaven Hill

Gruppo Campari (Wild Turkey)

Sazerac (Buffalo Trace, Tom Moore/Barton)

Kirin (Four Roses)

Brown-Forman (Old Forester, Woodford)

There are no small companies in the mainstream bourbon business.

While Willets wouldn't even be a visible speck of a dot on an i of the group! :(
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(Most) Willetts were distilled by Heaven Hill, then sold in barrel via a standing contract to Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd, an independent bottler, at varying ages, then held in warehouses at KBD until selected and bought by us. That whiskey was destined for one or more of the 25 or so different bourbon brands that KBD bottles for itself and others.

The point is, bourbon production is a large-company thing, and it is often sold in barrel as a commodity. While that's less romantic than some wines or spirits, it also brings the prices down. A lot.

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