Comments on bourbonv's review of Old Forester 100 Proof

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Comments on bourbonv's review of Old Forester 100 Proof

Unread postby forumadmin » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:04 am

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Unread postby bourbonv » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:04 am

JD Knaebel and his wife Kirsten met me for dinner at the Bourbon's Bistro last night. JD brought along a 1/2 pint bottle of this bourbon to add to the enjoyment of dinner. It was an excellent bourbon. I had a very large pour that I savored for about an hour after dinner. It was very fruity nose to the point that it reminded me of a sherry. The taste was flavorfull and pleasant without any alcohol burn. Damned good bourbon that should always be drank neat - too much flavor to waste mixing it with anything else. I would not even add water or ice.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby bunghole » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:33 am

Mike,

While I have not had the pleasure of tasting the special 1966 version that you describe, I have always been a fan of 100 proof Old Forester. To my palate it is the closest thing to the all column-stilled Woodford Reserve "honey barrels" of the past that were delightful bottles of splendid liquid candy. I am hoping that the newly relabeled "Signature" version will be in wide release and find it's way onto the shelves of Virginia's ABC stores. :love10: :drink: :love4: :cheers:

:arrow: ima :smilebox:
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Unread postby gillmang » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:41 am

Great review Mike! I still like OF 100 and am looking forward to the new Signature. That fruit charactertistic seems to be in many of the pre-1990's whiskeys. But it wasn't in all which leads to believe these tastes were in the bourbon when first released. I say that because I've always had in the back of my mind the thought that maybe there is a slow esterification (to coin a term) in the bottle. But in fact now I think this is not the case because if that was so, all whiskeys from the pre-90's would taste like that but they don't. E.g. those Cabin Stills and other S-W's we've had at Gazebos and other such events (recall those bottles at Bourbon Bistro last year when Julian and Preston were present?) didn't have fruity tastes. Those were caramel/peanut brittle smooth but weren't fruity. If esters continued slowly to be produced in those S-W bottles they should have tasted of them but they didn't. You had the real deal of '66 OF. But Linn is right, OF 100 is a fine whiskey as exemplified by the pre-batch 90 WRs. I think the keynotes of modern OF at its best are fine flowers and candy. True, the Birthdays sometimes get a fruit quality but not often, only the first really did, in my view.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:35 am

Linn,
The Old Forester Signature is the old Old Forester 100 proof under a new name. As far as I have heard only the name changed and that only as a way to make it stand out from the 86 prrof Old Forester. It is indeed an excellent product whether called Old Forester 100 proof or Signature.

Gary,
The Old Forester does have some nice fruit flavors in its white dog. It does still come out in the Old Forester products but not as much in the 86 proof as the Signature. Both have lost a lot of the fruitiness found in the older bottlings. I think the main reason for this is the increased barrel proof waters down the fruity elements of the white dog making it less flavorfull.

The fruitiness seems to come from the rye. I don't find a lot of fruit in a wheated bourbon other than some apple in the older Stitzel-Weller and Maker's Mark. Bourbon made with rye has much more fruit variety including rich berries, apricot, peaches, pears, apples, cherries and dates. The President's Select we drank the other night was almost sherry-like on the nose.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby gillmang » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:47 pm

Mike, thanks. That comment you made about barrel entry: if say you distill out at 140 and dilute to 125, aren't you adding less water, thus less dilution is happening, than if you dilute to 110?

Gary
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:05 pm

Gary,
You are right with your arguments, but I was unclear as to what I was trying to say. I think that the lower barrel proof allows more of the fruit flavors to develop and mature in the aging process. I believe that they are one of the more water soluable flavors developed in the aging process and as a result when it comes out of the barrel at 125 to 140 proof, there is more water added to water down the fruit flavors. That is not to mention that when you consider that less water in the barrel means that there is less of the flavor developing to begin with so the extra water is a double whammy to the flavor.

There is a lot of discussion of barrel aging and the contribution the bareel makes. Most of the discussion has to do with the tannins a vanilla caramel extracted from the wood by the alcohol. But the wood is also gowing to effect the other flavors from the white dog as well. Many of these grain flavors are remaining in the white dog as part of the water content, not the alcohol content of the white dog. Brown-Forman spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a few years back to have the best organic chemistry lab in the world, that is part of a German Univeristy, do a study of aging whiskey in the barrel. They determined that many of the barrel flavors that are considered desirable, are more water soluable than alcohol soluable. In other words the lower the barrel proof, the more desirable the flavor. I think these fruit flavors are one part of the desirable flavors found with lower barrel proof and that is why you hardly find them in modern bourbons.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:28 pm

Very interesting that a lot of the desired congeners are water soluable. I wonder what effect aging these old whiskies had condisering it is water which is lost to the "angels" during ageing. Does this mean the congeners are more concentrated in the remaining water phase or are they lost to the atmosphere as well?
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:11 am

Okay thanks I see now what you mean.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:00 am

Joe,
That is a good question. I suspect that the flavors stay behind and are concentrated in the remaining water.

Gary,
No problem. I should have been more clear in my post. Thank you for making me make it more clear. Sometimes it helps to have someone point these things out.
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Unread postby jdknaebel » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:59 pm

I had promised Mike that I would post the pictures of the bottle we enjoyed at dinner that evening. I agree with Mike on the quality as it was an exceptional bourbon that was enjoyed neat. I am now all the more anxious to open the pint I have from the same era. 8-)
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Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:00 am

JD,
So when are we going to open that other bottle? I know Kirsten was looking for some help moving some furniture after the beginning of the year - A sip of this bourbon would seem to me to be a proper payment.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby Bourbon HQ » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:15 am

I'll be glad to help with the furniture moving!

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