Old Forester – Birthday Bourbon – 2013 – Aged 12 Years | 49% (98 Proof), $36.99/bottle (BevMo)
Color/Appearance: Dark, deep and richly colored. Like a million year old block of amber was melted down with some butter. This shows its twelve years in some wonderful barrels rather easily. I love the squat super wide bottle. It looks great and its width really shows off the color of the whiskey. Nice soft cork stopper is a joy to remove.
Nose: Sweet molasses and gentle oak greet you. Waves of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, orange, cinnamon and clove. Saltwater taffy and kettle corn. This stuff is the bourbon equivalent of nirvana on the nose. Leans a little towards the sweet but is backed up with so much depth and spice. I find that to be a perfect balance for a bourbon. I could nose this all night. Way before it touches your lips you know this is going to be special.
Palate: Yep. Wow. Perfect balance and utterly drinkable but leaning a little more towards mind-blowing and contemplative rather than back porch sipping and talking. I don’t want anyone to talk to me when I drink this. Sorry. Sometimes a whiskey can tease you with amazing scents but then let you down once you taste it. This is the opposite. The super delicious scents from the nose are even more fully realized here on the palate. A freshly homemade cinnamon bun melting in your mouth. The spicy sweet warmth is balanced out with just enough dryness from the oak to allow for near perfection.
Finish: Lingers oh so long but with this one it never seems long enough. Could I get hit in the head while drinking this and end up with some weird brain injury that results in me tasting this forever? Please.
Overall: Enough good things cannot be said about this whiskey. I wish I could make this bottle last forever. I don’t know if this years edition was just very special but I am hoping that next years can keep up this level of quality. Also here in California it was an amazing deal at 36 dollars. Something special is going on here at Brown-Forman and I hope that they have seen this special editions popularity rise over time and have enough of this stored away for the future so that we don’t see it become too hard to find. Sorry that this isn’t a bottle that you can go out and find but you should keep your eyes peeled for this years version.