For week 25 of Sample Mountain I am revisiting Old Forester special releases with 2 distillery bottles that my local whiskey club shared. The first is the 117 series High Angel’s Share (which isn’t 117 proof) and the second is a President’s Choice Single Barrel (which is 117 proof 🤷♂️). The previous President’s Choice was one of the best Old Forester bottle’s I’ve ever had so my hopes are high for that one. I don’t know what to expect with the 117.
Nose: Dark fruit and caramel with subtler charred oak.
Taste: Very on profile for Old Forester with caramel, oak, warm spice, some nuts and a hint of banana. A woody candy bar. Unremarkable but pleasant mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium length and well balanced with spice, oak and caramel.
Buy a bottle? No - enjoyable but unremarkable other than the nose
Age: 9 years
Nose: Sweet vanilla, caramel, baking spice and subtle oak.
Taste: Again very on profile for Old Forester with the caramel, vanilla cream, rich oak and faint banana. Very creamy, very nice mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium to long with balanced spice, vanilla and caramel.
Buy a bottle? No - Very good but not enough of a step up from the Single Barrel Barrel Strength picks
The nose on the 117 series was outstanding but the rest was a let down and at the end of the day I’d rather have a barrel strength pick. Maybe if it was higher proof or cheaper/more available I’d be interested but even then it’s a stretch.
The President’s Choice was much better and an instant buy at the MSRP but it wasn’t enough better than the local barrel strength picks to be worth tracking down or overpaying for.
TL;DR: President’s Choice > 117 Series. Both were enjoyable but stick with the barrel strength picks.
You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) for more whiskey content!