Old Forester 1870 Original Batch Bourbon will be a new permanent line extension of the Old Forester Bourbon brand in the Fall of 2014. This bourbon will be bottled 90 proof and will emulate George Garvin Brown’s original recipe selection of the Old Forester Bourbon as it was produced in 1870.
Chris Morris explains that in 1870, George Garvin Brown would select and purchase Bourbons from three different distilleries in Kentucky including Atherton Distillery in Bardstown, Mattingly Distillery in Marion and Mellwood Distillery in Louisville.
In order to capture the essence of the 1870 recipe for this new release, Morris tells BourbonBlog.com that he is batching small lots of different Old Forester barrels to honor the three distilleries as they were selected in 1870. Each of these lots originates from a separate Brown-Forman warehouse, with each being a single days’ production with a different entry proofs and age profiles.
Morris says the 1870 recipe remained nearly the same from 1870-1902. In 1902, Brown-Forman purchased the Mattingly Distillery and it was renamed the Brown-Forman Distillery. At that point, the master distiller from Atherton Distillery moved to the Brown-Forman Distillery. This distillery closed in 1918 and never reopened.
In 1923, the Lynndale Distillery in Louisville became the new Brown-Forman Distillery up until 1981 when Brown-Forman moved to current distillery they operate from today.
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Photos, above left: George Garvin Grown. Above: Master Distiller Chris Morris.