Old Forester Announces the 20th Release of Birthday Bourbon

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2020. Old Forester.

Old Forester has announced the 2020 release of Birthday Bourbon in a special year that also marks the 150th anniversary of their brand.

Each year, the distillery celebrates the birthday of founder George Garvin Brown on September 2nd with the release of a highly sought after, limited edition expression. Brown, a pharmaceutical salesman, was the first to seal his bourbon in glass bottles, allowing consumers to see the quality and consistency of the whiskey. 150 years later, his family still celebrates that heritage.

“Founded by my great-great grandfather, Old Forester the only bourbon brand with an uninterrupted ­150-year history, sold by the same family company before, during and after Prohibition,” said Campbell Brown, Old Forester President in a press release. “Birthday Bourbon is the perfect way to celebrate his birthday and this milestone year makes it even more special. Its annual release has become something that bourbon lovers anticipate, and we really believe that the 2020 version is one of our best yet.”

The 2020 Birthday Bourbon was aged 10 years, on the younger side for the series, and bottled at 98 proof. Just 95 barrels filled on June 5th, 2010, were used for this release, representing one full day of production at the distillery, and all were hand selected by Master Taster Jackie Zykan and Master Distiller Chris Morris. The mash bill will, as with all of Old Forester’s bourbon, be 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley.

“Being part of the Birthday Bourbon selection process is one of my favorite parts of my job because of the legacy and tradition this expression represents,” said Zykan in a press release. “We’re really proud of what we’ve produced this year and think it’s a great way to celebrate George’s birthday and Old Forester’s historic anniversary.”

Tasting notes for the 2020 Birthday Bourbon describe a nose with “a nuanced balance of white floral notes, magnolia and citrus, spiced with vanilla, buttery leather and cocoa powder. Countering the spice are sprinkles of brown sugar, white chocolate shavings, caramel drizzle and hints of tropical fruit.” On the palate, we’re told we’ll see “caramel and brittle toffee lead as the tropical character blooms into banana, mango, coconut flakes and macadamia nut,” and a finish that is “long and delicately drying with a hint of anise.”

The 2020 Birthday Bourbon will be available in extremely limited quantities on September 2nd, 2020 for a suggested retail price of around $130.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.