Stats:Old Forester 1870

  • Age: NAS
  • ABV: 45% ABV (90 proof)
  • Producer: Old Forester (Brown-Forman)
  • Price Paid : $42.99
  • Availability: Released to select cities, including Chicago, Denver, Louisville, Nashville, New York City, Seattle and San Francisco.


What it is:

This is the first in Brown-Forman’s new “Whiskey Row” series, which commemorates the founding of Old Forester Bourbon at 322 West Main Street, Louisville, KY in 1870.  1870 Original Batch commemorates the founding by using similar batching techniques as used by the brand’s founder, George Garvin Brown, in 1870.  In those days of yore, Brown would mingle bourbon he had obtained from three different distilleries to create his flavor profile.  For this expression, Old forester selects a barrel from 3 different warehouses, blends them with minimal filtering, and creates the 1870 Original Batch Whiskey.


OF 1870 Original Batch is bottled in a unique 750 ML bottle with attractive cream label and red tape on the cork.  Yes, it’s a real cork.  This is attractive.


This pours a light amber, bordering on gold.


This bourbon really shines on the nose.  The first scent is a hint of oak, followed by a short burst of cloves.  But beyond that, the nose is greeted with a strong cherry cordial note with plenty of apricot and citrus fruits.  it’s a unique and extremely pleasing aroma.


Again, light, sweet cloves, cinnamon, and spices greet the tip of the tongue and carry throughout the tasting.  The tail end sees a return of the citrus and cherry flavors, with a touch more blood orange and apricot with some nuts and nutmeg on the end.


Medium in length, this bourbon is soft and sweet.  The cordial-like fruit flavors continue to linger with a touch of mingled oak and clove.


I was a little surprised by this.  In today’s climate, under $50 rarely gets something different and good, but Master Distiller Chris Morris has a winner with this blend, and I hope they can duplicate it in the future.  Where so many distillers these days turn to high proofs for power and in-your-face flavors, this one comes at you with a very soft and delicate taste profile that is filled with super sweet fruits and nuts.  90 proof seems to be the perfect expression for this whiskey, as it drinks incredibly easily, and still provides just enough “pop” to please the taste buds.  This is a great bourbon, and if the rest of the Whiskey Row series can match or exceed this, bourbon drinkers are in for a treat. Score: 92 out of 100 Points.

The scoring system is a standard 100 point system based on 4 categories, taken in order.

  1. Appearance: 15 points
  2. Nose: 25 Points
  3. Palate/Taste: 35 Points
  4. Finish: 25 points
  • 95+        Epic
  • 90-94     Excellent, Good representative of its style
  • 85-89     Solid sipper
  • 80-84     Drinkable, but potentially flawed.
  • 75-79     Low quality, flawed, use as a mixer only
  • <75        Rot Gut, avoid