Well, here it is the night before the night before the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house only me and my ever faithful dog are shaking a leg.
We decided to do another throwdown to get the holiday festivities started aright. This time we chose three from Brown Forman. They are as follows: Old Forester Signature at 100 proof, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (13 YO, bottled in 2007) at 94 , and WoodFord Reserve Distillers Select at 90.4 proof. Neither the Signature nor the Woodford have age statements so I am just guessing that they average about 6 to 8 years old. Maybe someone on BE knows their age.
Each of my glasses contains about 30 ml of whiskey. There is no appreciable difference in the color of the three. The Signature has the sharpest nose, due in part no doubt to the higher alcohol. But the rye fruitiness is more prominent too. The Woodford is obviously a near realtive, with a similiar nose but slightly less forceful and a bit more toward the nutty in aroma.
As good as the first two are (and they both have very good noses), the Birthday doesn't seem to belong in the same family. It has some nice tea like scents (tannins from the 13 years in the wood?) that are engaging, along with some chocolaty citrus that is very appealing.
The Birthday Boy gets my vote for the richness and interesting aromas that he generates.
The Woodford has nice upfront thick sweetness that succumbs to some pepper and dry heat toward the back. The flavors are not multidimensional and end up being a bit on the dull side to me. Not a bad pour at all, but there are no blinking lights on my savoring module.
The Signature bourbon has a bit more zip and flavor but again, while being a very good bourbon, me and the dog ain't dancing to it. I think it is a bit fuller flavored than Woodford, and they are both pretty dry toward the finish.
A body could do worse than choosing either the Signature or the Woodford, but I would probably have to take Grandma a sip, she might just not be willing to come down for one on her own.
'Barleycorn!' 'Go ax Grandma if she will come down for a sip of Woodford.' Barleycorn say she say, 'Nope'.
Now, me and BC finding our groove with Birthday. Signature and Woodford play in the 'Dry Pepper' league and they semi-pro. But Birthday Boy, he play in the 'Lay Back' league with the Big Boys. He has some 'class', some depth, he can play any position. He can be the pitcher and the catcher on the self same throw, a feat only accomplished before by the great Dizzy Dean in his dreams.
Would I lie? Would my dog lie? Of course not. We, all both of us, think the Birthday Boy is one fine whiskey. It has complexity, it has balance, it has interesting flavors, it finishes nicely. It has no apparent weaknesses and treats the mouth like a king right the way across.
'Barleycorn!' 'Go see do Grandma want a sip of Birthday Boy.'
Barleycorn say she say she be right down! She like to sing cowboy songs too!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas