Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style is the third bourbon released as part of the Old Forester Whiskey Row series. Old Forester 1920 follows the 1870 Original Batch and the 1897 Bottled In Bond (check out my Evan Williams BIB review for more info on the BIB Act of 1897). Like the first two expressions in the Whiskey Row series, 1920 celebrates Old Forester’s significant and lasting role in bourbon history. During the 13 years of Prohibition, the production, transport, and sale of alcohol were prohibited. Brown-Forman, however, was one of six distilleries granted permits to continue production for the purpose of supplying medicinal whiskey.
According to Old Forester’s website, the 1920 Prohibition style is bottled at 115 proof, mimicking what a barrel proof sample would have tasted like during prohibition. Since bourbon was commonly barreled and bottled at 100 proof during this time, Brown-Forman estimates that a bourbon would have been around 115 proof after maturation.
ABV: 57.5%, 115 proof
Age: NAS, 4+ years
Company / Distillery: Brown Forman
Mash Bill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Barley
Nose: Brown sugar, maple syrup, caramel, honey. Added a few drops of water and some floral, fruity notes were exposed
Taste: Great mouthfeel, brown sugar, lots of black pepper and clove spice, with a hint of toasted oak and anise
Finish: Fairly long, great balance of sweet and spicy all the way to the end
Overall: Unsurprisingly, this one’s fairly hot at 115 proof, although perhaps not as hot as you might expect. Certainly enjoyable neat, but this is definitely one that could withstand a few drops of water or an ice cube. There is nothing shy about this bourbon. It is upfront and honest with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It seems just about every major distillery today is jumping onboard and releasing more high proof products, it’s great to see Old Forester enter the game with such an incredible product. In a world where there are countless lackluster $50-100 bottles that don’t match up against the sub-$20 classics like Evan Williams BIB
or Heaven Hill BIB
, this is a $65 bourbon that could hold its own against many $100+ bottles.