Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023 offers a new chapter in its storied history

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023, photo provided by Old Forester
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023, photo provided by Old Forester /

As one of the brand’s most coveted releases, the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023 has a new story to tell. Steeped in the storied history of the brand’s original creator, George Garvin Brown, this special release will have many people hoping to be lucky enough to obtain a bottle. When that spirit is opened, that pour is truly an extraordinary gift.

Ahead of this year’s release, FoodSided spoke with Old Forester Master Taster Melissa Rift. While Rift’s story with Old Forester is still in its early chapters, she has had a hand in many of the brand’s recent offerings. Her influence shows a lovely balance between respecting the traditions yet embracing innovation.

Speaking to the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023, Rift shared, “this year’s process was a little different since it is the first time that we’ve linked last year’s release with this year’s offering. You’ll notice that the proof is the same this year. While the production date is the same, there is an extra year of aging in the warehouse. I think that the flavor profile is a bit similar to last year’s for that reason. It has gone through the same trajectory of life together.”

“Last year’s release had a bit more candied fruit, and the citrus was a bit more present.” While many people might expect those qualities from an Old Forester bourbon, this year’s release feels more balanced. Overall, there is a smoothness or a roundness to the sipping enjoyment.

As Rift described it, the dark chocolate and coffee bean are a front and center. Still, the charred oak influence keeps everything in check. When given the opportunity to put the two bottles side by side, the similarities feel similar to the bond between two siblings, unique, different, yet an underlying connection.

Given that this year’s release was the first one that Rift had a hand creating, she mentioned how she wanted the release to have a connection to the whole portfolio. “Old Forester leans very heavy into the fruit and the citrus is very present. I think that citrus is a through line that is unique to Old Forester. That balance between sweet citrus and robust is part of our identity.”

While she continues to grow into her Old Forester role, Rift wants to absorb as much knowledge as she can in her position. The collaborative nature within the team helps to balance that nod to tradition and willingness to innovate.

Looking ahead, Rift appreciates that there is a cutting edge approach to some of its offerings, like the 117 Series, but the core portfolio stands tall in its consistency. As she mentioned, when a person picks up a bottle, they know what to expect every time and that pour delivers it. That consistency fosters people’s willingness to engage with new offerings. It leads to a dynamic brand that will always have a place on the shelf.

In addition, the fact that Old Forester makes its own barrels and sources its own grains ensures that its signature style comes through in everything that it does. It is not just an appreciation of consistency, but it is the foundation from which creativity can grow.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023, photo provided by Old Forester /

While the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023 is a highly coveted bottle, Rift encourages everyone to open that bottle and enjoy it. As she said, “I typically sit in the camp that bourbon on the shelf is not doing anybody any favors sitting on that shelf. I love for people to feel empowered to crack their bottles open at their leisure.”

Any day can be an occasion. And, Old Forester has an expression that fits each and every moment. From the bottle that is a Friday night staple to the bottle that celebrates a new season to the bottle that marks an anniversary or a birthday. The shelf might be crowded, but it is another reason to raise the glass.

For those bourbon drinkers who thirst for a bottle of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023, the sweepstakes runs now through August 31, 2023. “The sweepstakes winners will be chosen on September 2, 2023. Those bottles will be available for pickup between September 8, 2023 through December 23, 2023.”

The suggested retail price for the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2023 is $169.99. More information on the offering can be found at www.oldforester.com/birthday-bourbon-sweepstakes/.

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