Old Forester 86 Proof & Woodford Reserve

American Whiskey Review #9 & 10: Old Forester 86 Proof & Woodford Reserve

My wife and I went on a grand European adventure earlier this month and I figured there was no better way to kick it off than some good ol’ bourbon (there was plenty of Scotch drinking while we were over there). The Old Forester I had in the Delta lounge in Denver International Airport (which, by the way, had some pretty good food and a decent selection for booze/drinks) and the Woodford Reserve was tasted at 33,000 ft, somewhere over the eastern United States.


Distillery: Brown-Forman

Region: Kentucky


American Whiskey Review #9: Old Forester 86 Proof

ABV: 43%

Age: NAS.

Price: Including with lounge access.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.

Nose: There is a lot of corn, that generic “I am a bourbon” corn mash smell, and some caramel.

Palate: Some sweet corn and some more of that generic bourbon corn mash flavor dominate the palate. There is a hint of some other kind of grain, rye is what came to mind at first.

Finish: Medium in length, finishes incredibly hot and almost like moonshine.

Conclusion: This was so…..boring. There’s nothing about that that makes it stand out for me at all. It’s a generic bourbon and not one that’s particularly well made either, especially with such a hot finish. As a mixer, it’s probably decent, but I am incredibly unimpressed otherwise. Would I buy a bottle? No.

Final Score: 69.

American Whiskey review #9, Bourbon Whiskey Review #8, Whisky Network Review #123


American Whiskey Review #10: Woodford Reserve Reviewed at 33,000 ft.

ABV: 45.2%

Age: NAS.

Price: Including on the flight.

Color: 0.4, Jonquil/Ripe Corn.

Nose: I couldn’t smell a whole lot but there were the distinct notes of corn mash and caramel.

Palate: This is a very smooth dram. There’s a lot of oak influence in here in the form of a bit of that dry spice. Some cherry pops up through the corn mash notes as well as does a bit of caramel.

Finish: Short in length, it’s on the dry side of things.

Conclusion: A friend of mine’s husband really enjoys Woodford Reserve quite a bit and I can see why he does. It’s well put together and has enough going on (the cherry, bits of oak spice) to keep it interesting. I’ll definitely have to try it again sometime to get a more full experience of all of the flavors. I’m particularly curious about how much of the drying effect was from the whisky and how much was from low humidity levels on the plane. Would I buy a bottle? Maybe.

Final Score: 74, though rating this in midair probably isn’t fair.

American Whiskey review #10, Bourbon Whiskey Review #9, Whisky Network Review #124


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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