Old Forester: The Statesman Review

Today, we bring you a bourbon review surrounded by our own unfounded speculation.

The Statesman

Old Forester’s The Statesman was first released in Kentucky in May 2017.  Its nationwide release occurred in August, in advance of the September 2017 release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which featured the “Statesman,” which is a “a secret American organization posing as a bourbon whiskey distally in Kentucky.”

The Statesman is described by Old Forester as “bold flavor blended to a smooth 95 proof from hand-selected casks of our famed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky from the warmest places in the warehouse.”  While The Statesman is a non-age stated product, sources point to a blend of 4-6 year bourbons, from Old Forester’s standard 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley.

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June 2017: Old Forester Whiskey Row

Host: Jay Cary 

The Old Forester brand has been around as long as any other bourbon brand in America. George Garvin Brown, a former pharmaceutical salesman, started what is now the Brown-Forman Corporation (still managed by Brown’s descendants). The name “Old Forester” is thought to be in honor of Dr. William Forrester (the bourbon used to be spelled with the double “r”), who recommended the drink to his patients.

Old Forester’s “Whiskey Row Series,” first launched in 2014. The series is meant to honor both whiskey’s and Brown-Forman’s long tradition, both pre and post-Prohibition. The series highlights Old Forester’s significant milestones and production innovations with each release.

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The Distinguished Gentleman: The Man Behind the Bottle

One of the featured bottles in this month’s tasting has a bit of history to it other than the bourbon in the bottle.  The “President’s Choice” bottling by Brown-Forman was a specialty product bottled in the late 1950’s to early 1970’s.  It was a single barrel bourbon hand selected by the Master Distiller.  In its early years (like our bottling), it was not a public release.  Instead, it was a private selection only for “Distinguished Gentlemen” who worked for or with the distillery or who had some other distillery connection.  Our bottle prominently features the name of one such distinguished gentlemen, “M.H. W. Ritchie.”  We thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more of the man that made this bottle possible.

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