Today, I continue my new release reviews with Old Forester's 2013 Birthday Bourbon. Unlike many distilleries, Brown Forman's Shively distillery pretty much eschews special release. Actually, they pretty much eschew quality in general. The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is their loan gift to whiskey geeks, but while there have definitely been some good ones, I found the last one I reviewed (the 2011 Birthday Bourbon) disappointing. Still, people always seem excited when it comes out and this year's has received some positive reviews, so I thought I'd check it out.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2013,12 yo, 48.5% abv ($55)
This has a very nice nose with big oak notes, honey, bay and tobacco, a very promising beginning. The palate falls apart almost immediately. There's a brief sweetness which fades quickly and the it's somehow sour and bitter at the same time. The finish is medicinal and bitter, really, really bitter.
This is just really unpleasant stuff. Sadly, this series seems to get worse every year.