Old Forester is what it is, and that’s why it works.
Old Forrester has about as much tradition as you can get in a Bourbon. It is a single brand of Bourbon that has been continuously available for 145 years — most of that time from the same family of craftsmen at the same distillery. Interestingly, it was the first Bourbon to be available exclusively in sealed glass bottles. There was a lot of nefarious re-bottling and dilution going on and this was a way to ensure quality and integrity. Today it is owned by Brown-Forman, available in eight different varieties and is a sister Bourbon to Woodford Reserve.
If Old Forrester had a resume, it would be a full one — “Best Bourbon Under 10 YO,” “Double Gold Medal,” “Best Bourbon 2012,” “94 points,” and so on. It has garnered all of those accolades by being true to what it is. And what it is is a traditional Rye-forward Bourbon made in much the same way as it has been for generations and bottled at a respectable 43% ABV without any marketing flimflam or artificial ingredient trickery. It’s a real Straight Kentucky Bourbon made from day one for real people who like real cocktails. And you just got to love that, right?
Smartass Corner: Woodford is the “Official Bourbon” and its sister brand Old Forrester is the part of the “Official Mint Julep Cocktail” during the famous Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs racetrack.