Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression honors the family’s heritage

Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression is the brand's rarest offering yet, photo provided by Old Forester
Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression is the brand's rarest offering yet, photo provided by Old Forester /

While bourbon is America’s spirit, the history, tradition, and craft molded into those bottles are unique to the families who started these distilleries. As part of its sesquicentennial anniversary celebration, the Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression is more than the brand’s oldest offering. By honoring the past, it gives bourbon enthusiasts a glimpse into the distiller’s future.

For many people, limited, exclusive, or otherwise special releases are highly coveted offerings. Whether that bottle is proudly displayed for all to see or hidden to break out for truly special moments, the reality is that there are every day sippers and then there are celebratory sipper. Even though Old Forester Master Distiller Melissa Rift encourages everyone to drink what they like when they like it, a highly coveted bottle deserves a moment to savor.

As part of the brand’s 150th anniversary celebration, it has chosen to release its rarest offering yet. Aged 150 months, or 12 ½ years, the unique release combines an exquisite presentation with an impeccable flavor. Again, it is another statement that showcases why Old Forester is different from other offerings in the market.

Speaking to this special release, Melissa Rift said, “Old Forester is the only bourbon to exist before, during, and after Prohibition – and what better way to celebrate that legacy than offering to the public this rare decanter.”

Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression
Old Forester 150th Anniversary expression is the brand’s rarest offering yet, photo provided by Old Forester /

Before pouring a glass, the box and decanter are collectibles themselves. Made from wood recovered from the 2015 Whiskey Row fire, the box sets the expectation. Showcasing a resiliency to stand tall in difficult times and choosing to rise from the despair is woven into the brand. Given that long legacy, Old Forester has had its ups and downs. More importantly, there is a resolve to continually push forward because there is a strong historical foundation.

The decanter is a nod to previous holiday decanters from the 1950s and 1960s. It captures the strength of industrial design without the need for too much embellishment. Still, there is a nod to style and function. Although a slightly more masculine feel seems to dominate, there is a timeless elegance to the bottle.

While the presentation adds to the excitement of the drinking experience, it is the golden liquid in the bottle that drinkers truly covet. According to the brand, the Old Forester 150th anniversary expression dates back to April 18, 2008. At that time, Master Distiller Chris Morris hand-selected six barrels for this release.150 months later, in 2020, the spirit was bottled. Nurtured in Warehouse J, on the top floor 8, Rick 44, tier 1, the spirit took on its characteristics.

Previously, the special offering was not going to be released to the public. It was meant for the Brown family, a few select others, and special events. But, the 2020 pandemic caused those bottles to go into storage. Now, the bottles are being released for those willing to make that purchase.

While only a few will be able to enjoy this unique offering, it showcases the importance of celebrating the past in order to move the brand forward. Craft, skill, and dedication cannot stand tall without looking to history. Allowing a spirit the time to absorb flavor, mature, and develop character cannot be rushed. The traditional Old Forester will always be there. Sipping these special offerings can bring a bigger appreciation for the expertise that goes into every bottle, not just the rare ones.

The Old Forester 150th anniversary expression is available exclusively online, via the liquor brand’s website. It retails for $2,500 a bottle. The special offering does include a few extras, including a private tour of the distillery and an opportunity to meet members of the Brown family.

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