Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2010

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2010, 47.5% abv (95 Proof), $40/bottle

Welcome back Birthday Bourbon. Well, to be truthful it never went away, but recent offerings have been sub standard in comparison to earlier years. The 2010 release is right up there with some of the best from this limited edition product. That same deep red, amber color yields a big and rich nose of vanilla custard, clove, nutmeg, dark brown sugar, ginger, candied citrus peel (orange), and dried fruits. The oaky nuances are there, but never overpower the nose – love it! In the mouth, Birthday Bourbon assures with wonderful winter spices – clove and nutmeg, hot ginger, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, and bitter orange. Sounds like the best the fall/winter has to offer doesn’t it? Again the oak is there but well integrated and a supporting character in spite of the fact this whiskey spent 12+ years in the barrel. The finish of this whiskey is superb – long and lingering hot and spicy with the bitterness of orange, sawdust and wood. Old Forester B-day is a fantastic pour of whiskey just in time for the holiday season.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.3 (Superb/Outstanding)

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, 40% (Abv)/80 Proof, $17-20

Light and fresh on the nose with Nutmeg, Rye, and Mint. Sweetness on the sniff takes the form of Marshmallow Fluff and Banana with Vanilla undertones. This bourbon remains light and lively in the mouth, with an airy dryness of Oak and Vanilla. The sweetness is minimal up front on the palette with some light maple syrup and caramel. Finishes dry with cinnamon and prickly spice notes coming through. Drink neat or in a cocktail. An excellent value for the dollar, and well made by the folks at Four Roses.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.2 (Excellent)