Old Forester 2012 Birthday Bourbon – April 8, 2013

Old Forester 2012 Birthday Bourbon (48.5% / 97 proof) is dark gold in color, a lot lighter than some of the other 12 year old whiskies. Cinnamon and oak spice dominate the nose with an undercurrent of vanilla and marzipan. It’s a very nice nose, oaky but not nearly as oak dominant as the 2011 release. The entry is soft and slightly vanilla sweet for a moment and then the oak spice begins to quickly ramp up. Unlike the 2011, the oak doesn’t completely take over; instead, it’s accompanied by the vanilla from the entry along with a nice malt note, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, and maple nut. The combination of the wood spice and the malt note is superb and shows just how much impact even a slight adjustment to the malt in the mashbill can make. The spice comes to a peak at the end of the midpalate and then transitions into a nutty, malty caramel finish supported on a bed of oak. The integration is much better with this year’s release, and the oak, which tempts at overpowering, is nicely tamed and balanced out with some of the other flavors in this bourbon. All Brothers in attendance enjoyed this selection very much. 

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