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The 2023 release of Old Forester's Birthday Bourbon is here - a 12yr Kentucky distilled bourbon bottled at 96pf. These are typically a tricky find, so let's see how this year's stacks up! Let's dive in.
Absolutely packed with caramel, cherry, cherry cordial chocolates, cola and oak. It's an interesting profile, loving the heavy cherry here with cocoa, cola and oak.
Moderate mouthfeel, it's interesting and really heavy on the oak without becoming bitter. Cherry persists, paired nicely with more cola, cocoa, a hint of coconut, punchy oak. It's getting a bit dry here on the back palate but not bitter. With the lower proof, it's a pretty easy sip, the ethanol doesn't pop up on the palate at all.
Long finish, possibly the best part of the whiskey here: oak, cola, cherry and a hint of butterscotch, vanilla and cream persist for ages.
This is a tricky whiskey, but Old Forester has found a proofed-down, high-age whiskey that works in this release. They appear to have shaken the extreme bitterness I didn't like in earlier years, and this 2023 release reminds me of Cherry Coke of my youth. Fun stuff.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.