Old Forester Does Affordable Rye

Bourbon Experts Will Be Hunting for This $23 Rye Whiskey — Here’s Why


January 17, 2019 Drinks By
Brand: Old Forester
Upshot: The first rye whiskey from a 150-year-old bourbon maker
Price: $23 SRP
Release Date: February 1
Availability: Nationwide
Proof: 100
Tasting Notes: Black pepper, cinnamon stick, dried dill and baked apple

George Garvin Brown was so sure of the quality of his bourbon whiskey that he stamped his signature and the words “There is nothing better in the market” on every bottle.

Some 150 years later, Old Forester has become one of the most respected names in all of bourbon. Its Prohibition Style is a GP staff favorite, while the Signature 100 proof possesses an exceedingly rare mixture of widespread availability, fair pricing and loads of accolades. Of course, that’s all before talking about the darling of whiskey writers (and drinkers) everywhere — Birthday Bourbon.

Well, next month, Old Forester will bottle a whiskey that’s not made of at least 51 percent corn. Old Forester’s Rye is made from a recipe acquired by the company in 1940 and just now made its way to public release. It will also be the first whiskey under the Old Forester name that isn’t made of its standard 72 percent corn, 18 percent rye and 10 malted barley.

“Our signature bourbon recipe has done this brand proud through Prohibition, World Wars and changing consumer palates,” Campbell Brown, Old Forester President and great-great-grandson of founder George Garvin Brown, said in a press release.

The prospect of an Old Forester rye is exciting on its own, but compounded by the price — a cool $23. On top of that, Old Forester says the bottle will be available nationwide (though no information on case or bottle count has been released quite yet).

According to Master Distiller Chris Morris, the recipe will be unique in today’s spicy rye market. “The high proportion of malted barley in this traditional recipe allows for a wholly natural fermentation process, leveraging Old Forester’s proprietary yeast strain,” Morris said in a press release. “The generous percentage of malted barley yields a unique floral character, producing a remarkably balanced rye.”

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