Tag Archives: Bourbon as a gift

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!


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.


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.


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

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


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.



Father’s Day gift? Bourbon!

What do Dad’s really want for Father’s Day? As both of us are fathers we have a pretty good idea. It’s not ties, golf balls, sweaters, or shirts. Both of us just tell our kids to come by and spend some time with us and the family. We believe that is the real gift that most Fathers would ask for.

But! If you insist  on bringing a gift when you visit, why not a bottle of Bourbon? Your dad will appreciate the gesture, will appreciate the Bourbon and it is something he can share with his friends and co- workers. But which bottle to buy? That depends on your dad.

If your father is somewhat sophisticated, older, maybe is into wine as well, and entertains a lot, we recommend Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon. WPSR comes in an elegant bottle that reminds you of a wine decanter.  In fact both of us have used the empty bottle for that purpose. So you get a good Bourbon that makes for a great presentation and the bottle can  be re-purposed. Willett Pot Still Reserve sells for around $40. Angel’s Envy would be another good choice in this price range.

If money is not a concern and your dad is a Bourbon guy, we have a few suggestions. And no, we are not recommending anything from the Pappy line. With the consideration that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find, we both think they are over priced and quite possibly over-rated. However if you want to spend upwards of $60+ on dad you can buy some really great Bourbon. While we have a lot we could put in this category we are sticking to the ones that are still somewhat available. Angel’s Envy Rye, anything from Colonel Taylor, High West’s Rendezvous Rye and Bourye, Michter’s Single Barrel or Rye and Blanton’s.  All of these would make your Bourbon-loving Dad very happy.

If pops is into Bourbon but you are a little pinched for cash, or you traditionally spend in the $20 to $30 range, here are few suggestions. If you can find Weller’s Antique, your dad will forever be in your debt, but be warned it is hard to find. For more readily available  juice we highly recommend Elijah Craig, great stuff, is aged 12 years and usually can be found for around the $26 range. Another great deal for under $30 is Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye, especially the Rye. In fact the Rye is one of our favorites at any price. With Bulleit you have the added benefit of a cool “Old School” corked bottle.

If your Father is really not that in to Bourbon but you think he would be if he just gave it a chance, try these. Bernheim is a Wheated Whiskey that has a very sweet taste and finish. Buffalo Trace is another easy drinking mild Bourbon that is also pretty easy on the wallet. Crown Royal, which like Bernheim is not really a Bourbon, is another good starter or introduction to Bourbon type drinks.

Of course you can also get him whatever your personal favorite might be. You can also throw in a couple of whiskey glasses or what some call Old Fashioned glasses. A whiskey decanter is always a cool and welcome gift. Both the glasses and the decanter make a better gift if accompanied by something to pour into them. This way, you too, can enjoy the libation with proper presentation. Even if it’s not the top shelf stuff, Bourbon always tastes better in the right glass.

Whatever you choose this Father’s Day, remember the best gift is to go and see your dad. If distance and circumstance make that impossible this year, at least reach out by phone. Hopefully you will be able to go see dad, hopefully with a bottle of Bourbon in hand.