The Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style is part of the Whiskey Row line, which is all about vintage versions of the brand’s drinks from the past. The Whiskey Row collection includes the 1870 Original Batch, the 1897 Bottled in Bond, and the 1910 Old Fine Whisky (double-barreled like Woodford Reserve Double Oaked). The idea behind Old Forester 1920 is to bring back a famous brand during Prohibition.
Old Forester is one of the oldest bourbon distilleries in the U.S. It was made before and when alcohol was illegal. It’s nice to know this. Old Forester was given one of the few licenses to continue distilling and selling for “medicinal purposes,” while many other distilleries had to close. It is also said to have been the first company to bottle whiskey, which helped keep it from being tampered with.
This Old Forester 1920 is one of the bourbons they sell with the highest alcohol by volume (ABV). It is also one of the bourbons they have for sale. Single barrels can be hard to find, and all three batches of the 150th-anniversary edition are very hard to get. So, if you want an Old Forester with a high amount of alcohol by volume, this is your best option.
The smell is strong and strong-bodied. Some parts include chocolate, bananas, burnt brown sugar, and dark fruit. A hint of burnt sugar is also there. Even though the proof doesn’t make it surprising, there is a hint of ethanol that makes the nose tingle. Overall, the smell is pleasant and different from other bourbons in a way that makes it stand out.
At first, Old Forester 1920 smells like maraschino cherries soaked in alcohol, brown sugar, and apple pie spices. It also has a lot of musty corn, dough, and wood smells. The smells of these things are lovely.
After the initial sweetness, there are spritzes of lemon and pine similar to the lemon scent from L’Occitane, as well as more wood and mint. Even though the alcohol keeps drawing my attention, the temperature is not too bad.
Swirling brings out the smells of vanilla and buttercream, which are mixed with darker scents like charred wood, cinnamon, caramel, maple syrup, and other spices. However, the overall impression is still brighter and livelier. The smells constantly change between sugar, orange, apple, cinnamon, mint, vanilla, and chocolate. Sometimes they remind me of baked apples with orange and lemon, peppermint patties, or pecan pie.
Again, there is the smell of stale maize and wood and the smell of mint and pine mixed with raw dough. Everything is excellent except for the smell of raw dough, which goes away after a while, and the glass has had a chance to air. But that slightly sour dough won’t go away no matter how much air you blow on it.
It’s big and bold, and people like it right away. Caramel and creme brulee are sweet, which contrasts the richness of barrel char and dark chocolate. It has a nuttiness to it, as well as a smokiness and a hint of coffee, and a hint of smokiness.
During Prohibition, when most distilleries were forced to shut down, the federal government gave Brown-Forman a license to make Old Forester for medicinal purposes. So, just like the first two releases, 1920 Prohibition Kind shows the Style of whiskey Brown-Forman would have made and bottled during Prohibition if they had kept going.
1920 Prohibition Style bourbon is made with whiskey that is 115 proof. This proof level was chosen to mimic the taste of barrel-proof bourbon that would have been available before Prohibition. Why do we use 115 proofs? During Prohibition, whiskey had to be bottled at 100 proof, or it was illegal. So that they didn’t have to add too much water to aged whiskey to bring it down to 100 proof, distillers also put whiskey in barrels at about 100 proof. Brown-Forman (and probably master distiller Chris Morris) thinks that the “angel’s share” of an aged bourbon would have given the spirit a proof level of about 115 when it was first taken out of the barrel.
Taste and lingering flavor
In 1920, alcohol was illegal in the Old Forester. When I take a sip of Style, the first things I taste are dried oranges, corn, and caramel. These taste mix with the alcohol notes that are always there and are brighter. The rye gives the flavor a hint of nuttiness and a taste similar to that of minty corn mash.
Old Forester 1920 is still pretty reserved, which lets me taste what it offers, even though it’s getting more doughy. Even though it has more than 57% alcohol, this is the case.
Vigorous “chewing” releases a rush of toasted wood, mint, corn, and vanilla icing, followed by a splash of orange juice and a rush of flavors that taste like brown sugar, mint, and corn. It can sometimes be dark, but there are also many times when it seems strangely bright. The roasted sugar fades over time, making the fruit and a little doughy alcohol stand out more. This is also a bit strange.
The aftertaste is sweet, like cornbread, and has hints of mint and burned wood. When you chew for a longer time, more savory sugars, mint, and wood flavors, along with a hint of nuttiness, cinnamon, and cocoa, come out. It tastes good, has a bit of sweetness, and has bourbon.
Allspice and black pepper are the first flavors that stand out. They go away quickly and leave an aftertaste that stays with you for a while, but the tastes that were on your tongue are finished in a way that is both satisfying and inviting. Dark chocolate, barrel char, and nuttiness are the things that stand out the most. All you can say about it is that it’s a good ending.
One of the first things that come to mind when tasting this whiskey is that it tastes like a stout beer. However, the Old Forester’s 2013 Birthday Bourbon doesn’t taste any different. That doesn’t mean it tastes like beer, but porters and stouts are usually wealthy, chocolatey, and dark, while 1920 is a rich, chocolatey, and smooth dark bourbon. Everyone who sees it can easily see that it has this quality.
Even though the mashbill is probably the same for all of the Whiskey Row Series, the taste is so different from the others that it is hard to believe. Even though the proof is higher, the taste is very different from what we thought it would be. Brown-Forman doesn’t tell us much about what might have caused this other than that they are experts at choosing and blending barrels. Even when compared to the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Series, which has bourbons that can be enjoyable and have similar flavor characteristics, most likely because of the rickhouse and floor from which the barrels are pulled, 1920 stands out as having a better overall balance and making the experience more enjoyable right away.
The prices reflect that the Whiskey Row Series is an extension of our premium brand. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this kind of premium line extension is becoming more common since it follows in the footsteps of brands like the E.H. Taylor portfolio from Buffalo Trace. On the one hand, the 1920 Prohibition Style is the same brand as the regular one. It has the same mashbill, but the packaging and taste have been improved. Still, you must admit that the people who make whiskey have complete control over what goes into each bottle. In a market that is getting increasingly competitive, better distillation methods, careful barrel selection, blending, proofing, and consideration of other factors could lead to better-finished products. It’s up to the customers to decide if it’s just a marketing trick or if there’s more to it.
The Whiskey Row Series gets a whole new experience with the 1920 Prohibition Style, which is good. All of the books in the series are like this. It’s not just about advertising or whatever else they did to make this bourbon. Even though it costs $60, it is just as good as many bourbons that sell for well over $100. (or even a little bit more in some areas). The fact that it’s easy to get to is the most important thing.
The Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style flavor is unlike any other Old Forester release, and it is excellent. So far, it’s my favorite Old Forester release because of this.
1920 Prohibition Style is one of my favorites for 2016 because it is fun and unique. One of the answers to one of my most recent surveys, which was called “How do Bourbon Producers Solve the Limited Release Problem?” was that they should make more of the good stuff. This could be shown by the Style of the 1920s when alcohol was illegal. Is 1920 just extra stock that has been carefully chosen and mixed, or does it come from a minimal number of honey barrels? The future will tell, but based on the extension of the Whiskey Row line and the amount of space. It looks like there will be enough for everyone. After all, the idea that companies would “just make more of the good thing” might not be as far-fetched as it might seem at first.
Old Forester, written in the Style of the 1920s Prohibition Era—general thoughts and a score
Both the smell and the taste are dark and heavy, but in a way that is warm and comforting, like wrapping yourself in a big bear blanket. The finish brings out the best parts of the taste on the tongue before it slowly fades away.
The Old Forester website says that this bourbon is the third in the line of Old Forester Whiskey Row. Its goal is to recreate the barrel proof of the bourbon that Old Forester made under its medicinal license during Prohibition. In the Whiskey Row Series, each of the four bottles of Old Forester Bourbon has a date representing a momentous year in the company’s history. Along with the Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon, the Whiskey Row collection has the 1870 Original Batch, the 1897 Bottled in Bond, and the 1910 Old Fine Whisky.
The Old Forester 1920 expression, a Prohibition-style bourbon, is undoubtedly my favorite from the Whiskey Row Series. Everyone likes Old Forester Signature who has tried it. A 1920 Prohibition Style bourbon has a flavor profile similar to Old Forester Signature but much more robust. If Brown-Forman wanted to make an exciting bourbon, they would put some of it in barrels at 100 percent and let it age for a while before putting it on the market.
Old Forester is made in the Style of Prohibition-era bourbon from the 1920s and has some unique qualities. Except for single barrels and a few special releases, it is the strongest bourbon that Old Forester makes. Adding so many other flavors gives the dish a pleasing complexity, set off by the caramel flavor that stays the same throughout. The aftertaste becomes spicy, which is not surprising, given what we know.