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Serendipity for Old Forester's Birthday Bourbon

Jack Bettridge
Posted: October 12, 2012

(continued from page 1)

Old Forester 2012 Birthday Bourbon (97 proof or 48.5 percent alcohol by volume, $49.99)

APPEARANCE: Rich brown to amber color with slight patina of greenish copper. Tiny beads, very slow to turn to legs.

NOSE: Huge caramel blast at start turns to vanilla, herbs and honey, then becomes incredibly fruity.

PALATE: Full flush of tropical fruit jumps right out to the tip of the tongue. Then the whiskey reveals toffee, toast, nuts, honey, wheat and a big hard-candy note.

FINISH: The fruit is there throughout, even as the finish floats through a parade of nuts, toast, caramel, maple and honey. The finale is long, but suddenly shuts off as opposed to fading out.

CIGAR PAIRING: Ortega Serie D Maduro No. 10 ($7.50, not yet rated) Dark, dry flavors, with lots of charcoal and some dried nuts and licorice, mark this cigar. The Birthday boy does an ample job of softening the party, adding sweetness and a chewy, nougat character. In turn, the Bourbon gets a bit tarter, which shows off its own nuttiness.

My Father #1 Robusto ($10, 93 points, April 2009 of Cigar Aficionado) This cigar has rich woods and meat, with leather, coffee bean and some sweetness, which the Bourbon amps up and makes less dry. The Old Forester gets rounder in the bargain, with accentuated cereal notes (wheat and barley), and not-so-full-frontal fruitiness.

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