Old Forester Signature Review (100 Proof)

Old Forester Signature 100 Proof
The Old Forester Signature is the grand son of the once beloved Old Forester Bottled in Bond; the Signature’s 100 proof bottling being a nod to that once classic dram. As a brand Old Forester has been around for over 140 years. They were one of the few brands that managed to grab a license to distill “medicinal” whiskey which means it’s not only been around for 140 years, but it can claim an unbroken history of distillation that entire time. Pretty neat ‘eh?

One of the things I found kind of peculiar about this bourbon was it’s reaction to air. When I first poured this bourbon it was rich and bold. Then the next day I came back and it was a little less so. It felt a bit flat and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did the first time. Now here with my 3rd glass while writing this, I like it again, but still not as much as that first day. Strange and noteworthy, take that info for what it is. Now, on to the review!

Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Review

ABV: 50%
Age: NAS
Price: $22
Distiller: Brown-Forman / Old Forester
Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye & 10% malted barley

EYE
Golden caramel

NOSE
A nice aroma filled with butterscotch taffy, caramel, cherry heavy dark fruit, wood, cinnamon, spice, orange zest and vanilla. Some nice hints of peppermint oil, rum cake and red vines run around in the background and a splash of water kicks up the wood and fruit a bit more.

PALATE
Spice kicks up a lot more on the palate, especially the cinnamon, and come with notes of orange zest, caramel, dark fruit compote, wood and leather. Burnt sugar, cocoa and a saline like character move about lightly and a bit of water stirs up more butterscotch, vanilla, caramel and awakes a cake like quality.

FINISH
Long and spicy with elements of wood, vanilla, caramel, citrus and dark fruit throughout.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nicely balanced with nothing really dominating or clashing. A medium body and pleasantly warm feel make it a decent sippin’ whiskey.

OVERALL
Yum. I really enjoyed this and it’s definitely a couple steps above it’s little brother the 86 Proof Old Forester. It has decent depth and an inviting range of aromas and flavors that keep me coming back for more. It’s not the kind of whiskey that will knock your socks off, but it’s a great daily drinker that is about as versatile as it gets; being right at home neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail and at the price it’s one hell of a value.

SCORE: 88/100

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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18 Responses to Old Forester Signature Review (100 Proof)

  1. I definitely prefer this over the 86, but it still comes in around a B- for me. My biggest takeaway was a peanut-butter note on the back of the palate that led roughly into the finish. It didn’t roll off the tongue evenly and had a lingering grit that was a little off-putting. Other than that, the whiskey is solid for certain occasions. Cheers!

  2. Old Forester Signature 100-proof is excellent. I like it better than Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select (which is the same mashbill and ingredients). If you call central casting and told them to send down a bottle of Bourbon, it should be OFS. That it sells for circa $20 a bottle is incongruent with its quality; I’m not complaining. I go by my palate and thereby have discovered 3 fine Bourbons that are circa $20: (1) OFS 100-prf, (2) Evan Williams 1783 86-prf, and (3) Henry McKenna Sour Mash 80-prf. Is it the best Bourbon: no. But I don’t want to ruin my enjoyment of Elmer T. Lee, George T. Stagg or Woodford MC Four Grain by drinking every day… that is Old Forester Signature 100-proof role.

    • Totally agree, OFS 100 is one hell of a value and an excellent daily drinker and I use it for the same reasons as you. The kind of thing that keeps me from running through all the great stuff too quickly!

      Cheers.

  3. Hello I have two bottles of old forester that were my grandmother with a leather label engraved with her name is it possible to get a personalized bottle of the birthday bourbon these days I was thinking of handing down the tradition to my nephews thxs

  4. Josh,
    Once again great review! I agree with you on this one. I picked up a pint of this one a couple of weeks ago, and found that I really enjoy this. I have been looking for a bourbon that I could keep in stock that wasn’t expensive, but had a really good, consistant experience. I found that with this one. The nose is buttrscotch, a nuttiness, with a hint of cherries and carmel. The pallet is mostly the same with a little vinilla and spice in there too. I think the best part is the finnish, I get carmel a little burn that fades into a wood that lingures and drys over a fairly long time. I can’t wait to get another bottle to enjoy. I agree that this bourbon isn’t something to contemplate on, but like a good friend something to enjoy being with and drinking if that makes sense.

    Keep up the great work!
    Cheers!!

    Ottis Cambell….

  5. This is a great value at around $20. Agree with your review of a solid B+. I might even consider A- with the value factored in. Dark fruit mainly cherry really upfront on the palate but not over done. Good balance with wood and vanilla makes this a great flavor profile to me. It is very sipable too for 100 proof. A good whiskey that i would recommend to anyone who likes a dark fruit heavy taste.

  6. Good review and good whisky, I hadn’t noticed any oxidation difficulties but –

    I keep on hand a good supply of .250; .375 and .75 liter bottles just for that purpose. When a bottle gets down some, it contents can easily be transferred to smaller bottles, to fill them. Some rums do better with a bit of air, really opening up when the contents down by the shoulder.

    Personally, the rye content is about perfect to my taste although Old Grand Dad is a welcome change with its even higher rye mix.

  7. Let me just say that I’ve really enjoyed this one, and I expect to purchase more of it in the future.
    I must say however that I agree with your assessment that something does happen to this one over time. The problem is, I can’t put my finger on what changed from my first drink. I think the quality of the underlying sweetness is different. I recall loving the the rich maple syrup sweetness that accompanied the spiciness. I taste all of the original qualities, but it seems the with time, the rye punches through more. I still like it, but it does seem to have changed. Maybe this one needs a cork.

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