Old Forester 1920

                                                  Today we are back tasting with Indianapolis attorney Aaron Pitt. And like the last time Aaron joined Talking Bourbon, he has brought the bottle(TB really likes Aaron).  This time it is Old Forester 1920. This is actually the 2nd time TB has tasted 1920 with Aaron. The first time TB lost the paperwork(might of had too much) and here is Aaron bringing it over again. Yeah, TB really likes Aaron.

Old Forester 1920, also labeled “Prohibition Style”, is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky and the third put out under the Old Forester Whisky Row series. According to the bottle tag, ” Only six Kentucky distillers were granted permits to bottle Bourbon for medicinal purposes. Brown-Forman, maker of Old Forester secured permit KY-3. In 1920 the first bottles under this permit were produced”. That explains the 1920, TB has no idea what Prohibition Style means.

1920 comes in a somewhat ordinary looking corked bottle, sells for around $60 for the 750 ml and is bottled at 115 proof.  There is no age statement and  can’t find one online, this makes TB suspicious. Availability varies but it can be tough to find.

Talking  Bourbon has not been a big fan of  Old Forester, their Birthday Bourbon seems to be a gimmick and is over priced. Their standard 86 proof is uninspiring and somewhat rough for 86 proof. The 100 proof seems to be the best of the lot that TB has tried and it is just okay. Will 1920  change TB’s attitude toward all things Old Forester?  Read on!

NOSE

Aaron:     Sounds odd, but I get the scent of bananas, and I remember I got that smell the first time. Also get a yeasty type aroma along with a nutty scent. And maybe an ever so slight whiff of coffee.

TB:        Nice nose, getting leather, vanilla, bread and hazelnuts up front. Also get some type of red fruit,  and even pick up on the bananas that Aaron mentioned.

TASTE

Aaron:    Pretty hot neat, a lot better with a melted cube. I taste the yeast and the nuttiness that I got on the nose but not much else.

TB:     Not as complex as the nose would have you believe. Getting a little ceder, a little cocoa, some bread and a touch of spice. Also got a strange Band-Aid type taste that Aaron thinks is Iodine.

FINISH

Aaron:   Medium to medium-long with a nice sweetness.

TB:     Sweet medium-long finish with a  very very slight hint of cinnamon.

OVERALL

Aaron:   I find it to be a decent Bourbon but nothing exceptional.

TB:       Agree, very good nose but lacking something in the taste department.

Nose          4 out of 5

Taste          7 out of 10

Finish         4 out of 5

Total score       15 out of twenty barrels.

Well Talking Bourbon is still waiting  to be impressed from a Bourbon from Old Forester. It is not that 1920 is bad, it was a pleasure tasting it, but for most people $60 is too much to pay for an everyday bottle. So that puts 1920 in the special occasion category but there is nothing about this Bourbon that screams special.  In fact it seems quite ordinary. The price also makes it prohibitive as a mixer.

Look, if you like Old Forester Bourbon, you will probably like 1920, but take it from TB, there is better juice at that price.

 

 

George T Stagg

                                                                Today’s tasting, like the last one, involves a very rare and hard to find legendary Bourbon. For the last blog it was Old Rip VanWinkle, for this one, George T Stagg. Like Rip, Talking Bourbon has not seen a bottle of GTS for sale for quite some time, and like Rip, TB had to rely on it’s guest taster to supply the bottle(more on that later).

George T Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is part of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection series. It is unfiltered and uncut, the latter making for a very high proof, in this case 129.2. It has been aged approximately 15 years and comes in a tall, sleek looking corked bottle with the well known antlers. As stated before it is very hard to find, at least here in the Indianapolis area.

Helping review George T Stagg is Chip Snyder, and as mentioned before, he brought the bottle of Stagg to the tasting. Chip entered a lottery to win the right to buy a bottle of Stagg and actually won(lucky for us). He paid $200 which might sound high until you see what people are asking for it online, we have seen over $800.

NOSE

Chip:   Honey and oak upfront with some caramel and hickory coming in behind that.

TB:   A very nice nose that surprisingly does not smell hot.  Like Chip, TB gets the strong scents of honey, oak and caramel along with black fruit, tobacco and toffee. Also getting a slight hint of cocoa and even slighter hint of vanilla.

TASTE

Chip:     Upfront I taste the caramel and wood that I got on the nose. Secondary flavors include spice, smoke and a slight floral taste. This is not a taste but it seems almost creamy.

TB:    Very good neat even though a little water definitely opens it up. Strong tastes of caramel, leather and oak. Coming in behind that is a nuttiness, a mustiness and a fruitiness. TB really likes.

FINISH

Chip:    Very long sweet finish.

TB:   Long to very long finish with a slight chocolate taste.

OVERALL

Chip:   I like it, tastes nothing like any Bourbon I have ever had.

TB:       Love this stuff! Love everything about this Bourbon.

Nose     4.75 out of 5

Taste     9.5 out of 10

Finish    4.5 out of 5

Total score       18.75 out of 20 barrels

Talking Bourbon wishes this was their bottle seeing as how it is one of the finest, in TB’s opinion, Bourbons you can drink. GTS has it all, from the cool bottle and the mystique surrounding it to the great nose, taste and finish, nothing not to like. Sad it is so hard to find.

If you can find it, even at $200, TB recommends buying a bottle of George T Stagg. You will not be disappointed.