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Old Forester 1897 - Bottled in Bond

Posted on by Eric Burke

1897 was a momentous year in the history of bourbon. In March of that year, Congress under pressure from the famed Col. E. H. Taylor passed what would come to be known as the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. If you want to learn more about it, Brian over at Sipp'n Corn has a great write-up of the act and it's significance. I suggest you read it. Go ahead, I'll wait. (Interested in reading the act itself? Click the button below to download a pdf.)

A few months ago, as part of their Whiskey Row series of Old Forester labels, Brown-Forman released a bottled in bond bourbon named Old Forester 1897 to honor the year that the regulation was passed. As I've a stated fondness for many Old Forester bourbons, I picked it up when I saw it at the liquor store. 

Old Forester 1897, Bottled in Bond

Purchase info: $48.99, 750 mL. Total Wine, Burnsville, MN

Details: As required if labeled Bottled in Bond: Distilled by Brown-Forman Distillers Company, Louisville, KY, DSP KY 354. Bottled by DSP KY 52. 50% ABV.

Nose: Cinnamon, cloves and allspice lead the way followed by brown sugar, apples and a nice floral note.

Mouth: The interesting thing here is that the notes are inverted from the nose. Caramel apples and floral notes lead the way and are followed by baking spices. There is a nice bit of heat to go with the spice.

Finish: Warm but a bit on the shorter side with floral notes fading to a pleasant bitterness. 

Thoughts: I think this might be my favorite product released under the Old Forester name. Until the finish, there is little of the typical Brown-Forman "plastic/paint/chemical" flavors that people often complain about. And even then there are only hints of it that present as more floral than chemical.

It is the most expensive regular release in the Old Forester line. Is it worth it? For the price I paid, yes. I really like it. I like it much more than the 1870 and am willing to pay an extra $10 to get this over that. I found it much more complex than either the 86 proof or the Signature. So, yeah, I'm already planning to buy a second bottle. 


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