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Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Review: Unveiling the Flavor Profile

thewhiskylady - 2023-06-16
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The Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon has gained quite a following in the whiskey community, so I thought it would be worth exploring its unique attributes and sharing my experience with fellow bourbon enthusiasts.

To give you a brief background, Old Forester is a respected brand in the bourbon industry, known for both their attention to detail and innovative approaches to crafting their spirits. Their Single Barrel Barrel Strength offering is no exception, with a surprisingly restrained aroma that combines cherry cough syrup, granny smith apples, crème brûlée, and wet oak. The palate is potent, showcasing a delightful burst of roasted pecans, thick oak, black cherries, and leather.

As I delved deeper into my tasting experience, I couldn’t help but notice the significant oak, spice, and chocolate flavors that are characteristic of Old Forester’s single barrel selections. Although fruit flavors aren’t necessarily what I seek in this particular brand, I found them quite enjoyable when they were present.

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Overview

Product History

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Overviewphoto credit:

As a fan of Old Forester whiskies, I can say they have a rich history that dates back to 1870 when their founder, George Garvin Brown, became the first to seal bourbon in a glass bottle. The Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength emerged as an enhancement to their retailer single barrel program, which Brown-Forman announced in early 2019. They replaced their 90 proof single barrel with 100 proof and barrel strength single barrel versions for a more intense flavor experience.

As for the Old Forester distillery itself, its Warehouse K in Kentucky is the place where they store and age their whiskies. Throughout the years, the brand has faced and survived the challenges of Prohibition, maintaining their dedication to quality and balance in their products. I personally enjoy sipping this whiskey from a Glencairn glass, which allows me to appreciate its full character.

Price Range

When it comes to the price of Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength bourbon, I’ve noticed that it tends to hover around $80 to $100 per bottle. While some may argue that the value can be daunting, especially considering that the age statements are barely above 4 years old, it’s essential to take into consideration the quality, flavor, and overall experience this bourbon has to offer.

Tasting Notes


As I take in the aroma of this Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength, I notice the buttery toffee that presents itself first, which is quite rare for an Old Forester product. Soon after, a strong oak presence emerges, alongside new leather, giving away the signature Old Forester scent. I can’t help but also detect caramelized banana, dried apple chips, and a hint of citrus peel that adds to the complexity of the nose.


Upon taking a sip, I immediately notice the robust flavor profile of this bourbon. The palate comes alive with a burst of roasted pecans, thick oak, and black cherries, accompanied by a pleasant leather taste. The vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove weave in and out, creating a perfect balance. Additionally, there are subtle notes of baking spices, brown sugar, and cocoa powder that add depth and richness to the overall flavor.


The finish on this Old Forester bourbon is robust, leaving a lingering heat on my palate, accompanied by dry oak and a slight hint of tobacco. The combined influences of caramel, toasted oak, and barrel char round out the experience, while gingerbread and a touch of mint leave a pleasant, long-lasting aftertaste. The finish isn’t too overpowering but offers a satisfying warmth.


Considering all the tasting notes, complexity, and overall experience, I would give the Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength bourbon a 4.5 out of 5. It’s a remarkable bourbon that showcases Old Forester’s heritage and is an excellent choice for those who enjoy bold flavors, a strong finish, and a delightful balance of sweetness and oakiness.

Mixing and Pairing

When it comes to Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength bourbon, the intense flavors and high proof make it a fun challenge to find the perfect mixers, cocktails, and food pairings. Let’s explore some options that work well with this unique bourbon.

Best Mixers

While some might argue that this bourbon is best enjoyed neat or with a few drops of water, I prefer to get a bit creative with my mixers. Here are a few that I believe complement the robust flavors of Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength:

  • Ice: Chilling the bourbon with a large ice cube or whiskey stone can help temper the heat without overly diluting the flavors.
  • Ginger ale: The zesty kick of ginger ale adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the bourbon.
  • Club soda: For those who want a refreshing, less sweet option, club soda helps to tone down the intensity while keeping the essence of the bourbon intact.

Cocktail Suggestions

Cocktail Suggestionsphoto credit:

Mixing this high-proof bourbon into cocktails can be a delightful endeavor. Here are a couple of concoctions I’ve tried that bring out the best in Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength:

  • Old Fashioned: While you may want to adjust the amount of sugar, the classic Old Fashioned works superbly with this bold bourbon.
    • 2 oz Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength
    • 1/2 tsp sugar or simple syrup
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • Orange peel or cherry for garnish
  • Kentucky Mule: For a spicier twist on a classic, try substituting bourbon for vodka in a traditional Moscow Mule.
    • 2 oz Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength
    • 4-6 oz ginger beer
    • 1/2 oz lime juice
    • Lime wedge and mint sprig for garnish

Food Pairings

Food Pairingsphoto credit:

Pairing this bourbon with food can enhance both the dining experience and the whiskey’s complex flavors. Here are a few suggestions for dishes that can hold their own alongside Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength:

  • Grilled meats: The rich, oaky flavors of the bourbon complement the savory, smoky notes in grilled steak or barbecue ribs.
  • Blue cheese: The sharp tanginess of blue cheese offers an excellent counterpoint to the sweetness of the bourbon.
  • Dark chocolate: A high-quality dark chocolate provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying the rich, fruity notes in the whiskey.


In my final thoughts about Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength, I must say this is an interesting whiskey with a potent flavor profile. With a high alcohol content, this cask strength Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey sure packs a punch.

I found it quite enjoyable to compare Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength with other bourbons like New Riff, Wilderness Trail, and Woodinville. Each of these has its unique characteristics that make them stand out, but in the end, it comes down to personal preference.

So, if you’re looking to explore new whiskies or simply want to try something unique, I’d recommend giving Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength a taste. Just remember to enjoy responsibly.

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