Recently, I was searching for a new bourbon whiskey to try at a local retail store and came across Old Forester’s release of their 1870 Original Batch Bourbon. I had already read a few articles on Old Forester’s newer releases in their craft series, which included the 1870 Original Batch, so out of curiosity I went ahead and made the purchase.
For those newer to bourbon, Old Forester is owned by Brown-Forman Corporation, which is one of the largest spirits and wine companies in the world. In fact, this is a company that owns brands such as Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve, and Canadian Mist to name a few. As most of you know, this site is also dedicated to investing, and Brown-Forman is a company I have on my watch list. I haven’t purchased its stock yet, as I feel the stock is slightly overvalued at the moment, but as soon as it goes into value territory, this company has the underlying fundamentals that make for a great investment. You can read their financial statements on their website here. To learn more about “value investing,” and how to view investing in stocks, be sure to read my articles The “Value Investing Way” Part I and “The Value Investing Way” Part II. I think I will post an article soon on the fundamentals of a few spirits and wine companies and bring my love for investing and whiskey together.
Now back to the bourbon review. The name for Old Forester’s 1870 Original Batch came from the tradition of the original owner George Garvin Brown who founded the company in 1870. George Garvin Brown was known for batching barrels of whiskey from three different distilleries to create a uniform flavor profile in his bourbon. In commemoration of Mr. Brown, Old Forester is bringing back some of that tradition and batching barrels from three different warehouses with different production dates, proofs, and age profiles to create a unique bourbon in the 1870 Original Batch. It’s understandable that pulling barrels from different warehouses is not necessarily going to make an exceptional whiskey in and of itself, but the different locations, temperature, and proofs of the barrels all have a factor on the flavor profile of the whiskey. By bringing all these varying and unique flavors together, Old Forester has produced an original and respectable bourbon.
At a price point of $42, many would argue that there’s nothing exceptional about the 1870 Original Batch that warrants almost paying twice the amount of what you pay for the Old Forester classic 86 proof bourbon, which in and of itself is quality bourbon. I do think the 1870 Original Batch is a nice pour, but it must be put into perspective with other options at different price points.
As far as the tasting notes, I picked up a few citrus notes on the nose, such as orange and grapefruit. I found the taste to be very similar to the nose with citrus throughout the palate, along with hints of oak and caramel. The body of the whiskey had a light to medium texture with a smooth and sweet finish. Overall I think this is a quality and respectable bourbon, but I do question the price point relative to other options available. If you’re a fan of the Old Forester brand, I say go for it and give it at least one try.