Old Forester Whiskey Row Series – 1924 10-Year-Old

Style: Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon
Producer: Brown-Forman Distillery
Origin: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
ABV: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
Mashbill: 79% corn, 11% rye, 10% malted barley
Age: 10 years
MSRP: $115
Availability: Nationally
Reviewed By: Susan Reigler

Old Forester enjoys the distinction of being the only American whiskey brand produced and sold before, during, and after Prohibition by the same company. It is also the oldest continuous brand, first appearing in 1870 when a young pharmaceutical salesman named George Garvin Brown came up with the innovation of selling his whiskey to his doctor customers in sealed glass bottles exclusively to guarantee its quality. (Theft of whiskey from barrels en route to their destinations which were topped up with faux ingredients resulted in whiskey of inconsistent quality, to say the least.)

For 55 years, with the exception of an annual release of barrel strength Old Forester Birthday Bourbon that began in 2002, Old Forester was sold in stores as a single expression, an 86 proof sipper and cocktail workhorse with a 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley mash bill. Then, in homage to the brand’s history of having offices on Louisville’s Main Street, the hub of whiskey commerce before Prohibition, the first expression, in the Whiskey Row Series, 1870 Original Batch, was released in 2014. Three more Whiskey Row expressions followed, all using the same mash bill and same yeast strain, but differing in proofs and maturation.

The newest Whiskey Row offering, is a departure. It commemorates the year that Brown-Forman, one of only six distilleries in Kentucky, and 10 in the U.S, licensed to sell medicinal whiskey, completed the government ordered consolidation of whiskey from hundreds of smaller distillery warehouses around the state. Thus, the company bottled a lot of whiskey under the Old Forster name that it hadn’t made. The 1924 expression is a recreation of one of those consolidated bourbons with a mash bill higher in corn and lower in rye than other Old Foresters, and fermented using a different yeast strain.

What The Critics Say

• Bourbon Enthusiast: 3.5/5
• Robb Report: 94/100
• Whiskey Raiders): 90/100

What We Say

Color: A beautiful deep, polished bronze hue highlighted with flashes of amber. Pantone should patent whatever color this is.

Nose: Rotating aromas of various iterations of chocolate - cocoa powder, milk chocolate, fudge – float out of the glass first. Then roasted, sugared almonds and a whiff of cinnamon powder follow.

Palate: Persistent chocolate and sweet almonds, like marzipan, along with some toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, and cinnamon. Fruit notes of sweet cherries and a little orange peel play on the tongue before being joined by subtle savory notes of roasted coffee beans, tobacco, and oak. It has a notably rich mouthfeel which contributes to the depth of the flavors inviting you to sip slowly and allow each one to have its star turn.

Finish: Satisfyingly long and balanced. This is a bourbon that is very reluctant to say good-bye and that’s a good thing.

If s’mores and a warm almond croissant had a liquid love child, this would be it. It is a dangerously smooth 100 proof which should be a favorite, unhurried sip by the fireplace while reading a fine book worthy of its depth and complexity. It has a heftier price tag than the other Whiskey Row bottles, but it is appropriately priced for its quality. Splurge!

Rating: Four Stars


★ Not Recommended
★★ Recommended
★★★ Highly recommended
★★★★ Excellent
★★★★★ Ethereal

Former restaurant critic and beverage columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Susan is bourbon columnist for Food & Dining and Covey Rise magazines and also writes for Bourbon+, LEO Weekly, and American Whiskey (tasting notes and ratings). Susan has authored or co-authored six books including Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide, The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, The Bourbon Tasting Notebook, and The American Whiskey Tasting Notebook, and Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon? – Setting the Table for Tastings, Food Pairings, Dinner, and Cocktail Parties. Susan is a member of the Order of the Writ, former president of both the Bourbon Women Association and the Kentucky chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an organization of women culinary professionals.