WHISKEY DREAMS – Old Forester 1920

This bottle of Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon has been hiding on the back of my “to be reviewed” shelf for almost two years after I fell in love with Irish Whiskey. Since then I’ve been trying to alternate between an American Whiskey/Bourbon and Irish Whiskey/Scotch every week. I grabbed this bottle of Old Forester 1920 because Old Forester never let’s me down, and I was excited to try this 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon my eyes settled on it hiding in the back corner of the shelf.

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon is a strong offering. It is bottled at 115 Proof and a mashbill of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley. Based on the distiller’s lore, this bourbon was created during America’s experiment with making alcohol illegal . Or at least mostly illegal. Apparently there was a medicinal use exception, and Brown-Forman applied and was granted for Kentucky Permit KY – 3. This allowed Brown-Forman to create Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon and legally sell it for “medicinal” use, even during prohibition.

The Old Forester brand has the distinction of being the only bourbon sold before, during, and thankfully, after, prohibition. There is a lot of history in every sip of Old Forester, which is likely one of the reasons it never disappoints.

The nose on this Old Forester 1920 is rich, deep, and layered with fruit and concentrated brown sugar just on the verge of burning. The nose ends with a swirl of alcohol and sweet fruit that is really surprising for how balanced it is. I was expecting a strong alcohol burn based on the proof, but this is such a well crafted whiskey that it all just fits together perfectly.

The first sip was an explosion of flavor. Sweet brown sugar mellowed over oak char and black chocolate. That sweetness continues and melds with ripe fruit on the swallow that does hint at the 115 proof, but in a good way. Yes, you can appreciate this is a higher proof, but it is just so well made that it never smacks you in the face.

While this Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon isn’t something I’d pour for a new whiskey lover, for the advanced class who an appreciate all its complexity, this is just a pleasure to sip. It not only scored a 96/100, tying it for top honors with Red Breast, but it of course made it into my Whiskey Safe, meaning I will always keep a bottle locked up to enjoy during the Apocalypse.

Pros

  • Awesome back story that dates to prohibition.
  • Complex, multi layered nose.
  • Lovely sweet brown sugar and fruit on the front of tongue.

Cons:

  • At local prices (east coast) ranging from $59.99 to $69.99 this can take a bite out of your whiskey budget.
  • Easy to over enjoy, and at 115 proof it might catch up to you.
  • Not for the new whiskey lover. Save it for when you are more experienced.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon96$65 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Knappogue Castle 14 Year92$68 / 750ml
Redbreast 1591$99 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Dublin Liberties Copper Alley Irish Whiskey90$75 / 750ml
Tyrconnel 16 Year88$95 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Powers Three Swallow87$38 / 750ml
Fighting 69th86$30 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Jameson Triple Triple85$45 / 750ml
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Whiskey84$40 / 750ml
Uncle Nearest 185684$55 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Lambay Cognac Finish83$65 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year82$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon81$45 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Tullamore D.E.W. 1481$75 / 750ml
This Dubliner80$35 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Jameson80$40 / 750ml
Don Julio 194280$160 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Monkey Shoulder79$35 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Chestnut Farms Bourbon77$45 / 750ml
West Cork77$30 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Old Forester Statesman75$65 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Slane74$33 / 750ml
Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey74$45 / 750ml
Tullamore D.E.W 12 Year73$50 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
John L. Sullivan Irish Whiskey72$25 / 750ml
Clyde May's Original Alabama Style Whiskey72$33 / 750ml
Bushmills 10 Year72$50 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Mr. Whidkey70$22 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew Crock69$40 / 750ml
Tito's Vodka69$30 / 750ml
Death's Door68$40 / 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Appleton Reserve Blend Jamaican Rum67$30 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Paddy’s Irish Whiskey66$33 / 750ml
McConnell’s Irish Whisky66$25 / 750ml
Kavanagh 16 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey66$50 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Quiet Man Traditional65$40 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Wild Turkey63$35 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon61$20 / 750ml
Writers Tears61$35 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Maker's Mark60$25 / 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Fighting Cock58$18 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
The Sexton54$40 / 750ml
Fistful of Bourbon53$40 / 750ml
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt52$55 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Howler Head50$25 / 750ml
Agitator Kentucky Bourbon50$30 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Blade and Bow48$50 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Teeling Single Malt43$65 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Stranahan's Single Malt27$65 / 750ml
Egan’s Fortitude Irish Whiskey26$50 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Busker Single Malt4$34 / 750ml
Kavanagh Single Malt Irish Whiskey3$35 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

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