Old Forester Signature Bourbon Review Header

Editor’s Note: Today’s Old Forester Signature review from Steve Allen continues our efforts to showcase blog posts from everyone that applied to our Help Wanted post a few weeks ago. Check out his post and then let him know what you think in the comments or on Twitter at @OttisCambell16

Today I am reviewing Old Forester Signature Kentucky Straight bourbon. Founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, the company was named J.T.S. Brown and Bro. During prohibition J.T.S. Brown and Bro applied for and received a federal license to produce Old Forester for medicinal purposes. Old Forester has been continuously produced since then, as of 2015 that is 144 years! Old forester is also the only bourbon produced by the founding family before, during, and after prohibition.

Old Forester distills several brands of Old Forester including:

  • Old Forester Classic (86 proof, 4-year-old)
  • Old Forester Signature (100 proof)  – what we are reviewing today
  • Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (100 proof)
  • Old Forester 1870 Original Batch (90 proof)
  • Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond (100 proof)

Now finally on to the review….


Old Forester Signature Bourbon Review

Old Forester Signature BourbonBourbon Name:  Old Forester Signature Bourbon

Proof: 100

Age: NAS – No Age Statement

Year:  2015

How I Drank It:  Neat, in Glencairn whiskey glass.

My Nose Noticed:* Dark cherry fruit, slight wood, peppermint, butterscotch, spices like cinnamon and pepper. Water tones down the wood and opens up the butterscotch. Ice gives more pepper spices

First Sip: As with the nose, spices, cinnamon, orange zest, dark cherry fruit, a nuttiness (walnuts maybe?) Caramel, leather. Water brings out more sweetness with Carmel, butterscotch. To me ice brings out a maple flavoring with more emphasis on pepper spices.

The Burn:** Long, woody, more nuttiness, burnt sugars, butterscotch. It seems to have a deeper woody sensation along with nuttiness for several minutes after the finish. It’s very interesting to me. After the initial burn it subsides, then after a few seconds you get that delicious warming in your chest. Water tones down the burn a little and brings more nuttiness and wood to the front. Ice makes it creamier and sweet with pepper spices.

Neat, Splash or Rocks:  I prefer my whiskey neat, but this one works well all three ways. If new to bourbon you might want to try this on the rocks as it tones the burn down considerably and ramps up the sweetness.

Share With: This one is good to share with your friends that are into bourbon because it is well-balanced and somewhat complex. People new to bourbon will enjoy this because it is somewhat mild when adding water or ice and doesn’t get muted too much.

Worth The Price: I found this at $20.00 at Meijer. At this price you can’t go wrong. I don’t usually like cocktails, but I imagine this would go well in an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. This will be a staple in my home bar from now on.


*I like to let my whiskey sit in the glass for at least 5 minutes before I start to smell it or have a drink. I personally find that it’s better to let some of the alcohol waft off before diving in. If I’m drinking bourbon on the rocks I skip the waiting and dive in both feet first. In this case thought, the whiskey really required more like 20 minutes to balance out.
**Some of you refer to this as the “finish” but let’s be honest. Don’t we all just want to know if it burns good?