Old Forester and King Ranch celebrate tradition and history in a one of kind bourbon

Old Forester King Ranch collaboration, photo provided by Old Forester
Old Forester King Ranch collaboration, photo provided by Old Forester /

Certain brands are icons, a word that should not be bantered about lightly. In the bourbon world, Old Forester is celebrated as the first bottled bourbon. While there may be many bottles that have followed in its footsteps, the original is stepped in tradition. In Texas, King Ranch is a name synonymous with the Lone Star State. Often referred to as the birthplace of American Ranching, the privately run organization has influenced a myriad of agricultural endeavors as well as Texas culture. With this new collaborative bourbon between Old Forester and King Ranch, the bottle holds more than just any golden liquid. It is a celebration of 300 years of combined history.

As the “only bourbon continually sold by the same company before, during, and after Prohibition,” Old Forester is a favorite for many drinkers. Whether it is the annual birthday bourbon or specialty series, many people know that they can trust that each and every bottle delivers a sip worthy of that heritage.

Given their prestige, both Old Forester and King Ranch could work with a vast number of collaborators. Choosing to partner with each other is a bold statement for both organizations. Given that King Ranch does not lend its name without much consideration, that iconic branding on every bottle invites the drinker to appreciate the heritage woven into this liquor story.

Old Forester King Ranch Edition Bourbon
Old Forester King Ranch edition bourbon, photo by Cristine Struble /

Finding a way to blend the Kentucky bourbon with the Texas influences took a deft hand. Lead by Cole Irvin of Brown Forman, the process took inspiration directly from the grounds of King Ranch. Creating charcoal from the mesquite wood grown on property, the proprietary batch of Old Forester Bourbon is finished through that King Ranch charcoal. While an arduous process, the resulting flavor is worth the extra effort.

Unlike the mesquite notes that flavor Texas barbecue, this wood charcoal component does not have the “bite or bitter” characteristic. Instead, the use of mesquite charcoal adds a roundness to the bourbon. It plays off the heavily toasted bourbon barrels. Just like the aroma of a roaring fire entices a person to settle in after a long day, the mesquite charcoal infused in the bourbon compels drinkers to sit, ponder, and enjoy the craft in the bottle.

While bourbon drinkers will dissect the nuances of color, aroma, and flavor, the true gift from this liquor release is the celebration of ingenuity, hard work, and a lasting legacy, words taken directly from the bottle’s label. Sometimes the intention is as important as the quality of the craft.

According to Robert Hodgen, CEO at King Ranch, the offering “captures American history in a bottle.” While that sentiment is meaningful, it is more than just words. The collaboration is authentic, a concept that is woven into everything that the Texas icon does.

King Ranch barn pictured at Old Forester event
King Ranch, barn, photo by Cristine Struble /

The word authentic is vital to King Ranch and is equally appreciated by Old Forester. When a brand is steeped in tradition, it does not change its ideals on a whim. The legacy has been held to the fire and passed that test.

As bourbon drinkers set out on the opportunity to open a bottle of Old Forester King Ranch bourbon, the first pour will be one of many. While best enjoyed neat or possibly with a single cube, the hope is that drinkers will raise a glass to the past, present, and future. Quality, legacy, and authenticity are characteristics earned by brands who are willing to put in the work.

The word icon is not a label given lightly. To say that this bourbon partnership is iconic captures the legacy of the names on the label. More importantly, it is a celebration of greatness that stems from deep in the Lone Star State to the rolling Kentucky hills. For those ready for the experience, the Old Forester King Ranch edition bourbon will be waiting to toast another chapter in the brands’ lasting legacy.

Old Forester King Ranch edition bourbon has a suggested retail price of $69.99. It will be sold only in Texas.

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