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Old Forester 1897 Bourbon Review

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Old Forester 1897 Bourbon Review
Old Forester 1897
Bottled In Bond
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
100 Proof
Price: $45-$50

Please enjoy my Old Forester 1897 Bourbon Review!

Transition From 90 to 100 Proof

From the label: “With the passage of the Bottled In Bond act of 1897, Old Forester transitioned from 90 proof to 100 proof. Originally produced on Louisville’s Whiskey Row, this whiskey has a rich, bold character reminiscent of a 19th-century bourbon.”

The Significance Of The Year 1897

As with all of the bourbons in the Old Forester Whiskey Row series, the year on the label has significance for Old Forester, or for bourbon in general. In this case, it is the latter. 1897 is the year that saw the passage of the Bottled in Bond Act.

Old Forester 1897 Bourbon Review - Cap Top
The Bottled In Bond Act of 1897

The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was essentially the first consumer protection act. In a nutshell, it states that a spirit must, in addition to its usual requirements, be:

  • Produced by 1 distiller at 1 distillery⁠ in 1 distilling season⁠
  • Aged at least 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse⁠ (which all spirits warehouses are these days)
  • Be bottled at 100 proof⁠
  • Have no additives except water

There are also labeling requirements. The label must state the real name of the distillery where the spirit was distilled (and its DSP number), and where it was bottled, if different.

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste Old Forester 1897 Bourbon:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, banana, cherry candy, pine & cinnamon with chocolate in the back; fairly light alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Brown sugar, oak & caramel; light honey sweetness; fairly full mouthfeel
👉🏻Finish: Black pepper spice builds, the oak comes forward, some char and dryness continue to the end with a hint of cherries and some cinnamon; fairly long finish

Classic Bourbon Flavors, With Some Fruit

Old Forester 1897 Bourbon has many of the flavors that I enjoy in a bourbon, although I do have to be in the mood for the fruitiness of the nose. There is an almost confectionery character, with butterscotch, caramel and even a hint of chocolate. The fruit flavors are present throughout, but are most noticeable in the nose. I generally favor the Old Forester 1910 and 1920 from the Whiskey Row Series over the 1897, so this is not a bourbon I drink often; however, it is an enjoyable easy to drink whiskey.


It’s surprising how much richer and more full bodied the Old Forester 1897 Bourbon is compared to the 1870. There is still fruit, but it is most noticeable in the nose. Confectionery-like bourbon flavors are more evident, and the body is fuller. However, it is also quite different from the other two in this series, the Old Forester 1910 and 1920, which have fuller, richer, flavors still.

Have you had the Old Forester 1897 Bourbon? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

I hope you have enjoyed my Old Forester 1897 Bourbon Review! Would you like to read about the other bourbon in the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series? Check out our Old Forester 1870 Bourbon Review and our Old Forester 1920 Bourbon Review

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