Old Forester just released 150 bottles of its rarest and most expensive bourbon ever

By Jonah Flicker 24 November, 2023
old forester

This unicorn bottle comes from a distillery known for making affordable bourbon

It’s not like Old Forester is a stranger to releasing expensive collectable whiskeys—after all, this is the same distillery that makes Birthday Bourbon. But the new 150th Brown-Forman Decanter is said to be its rarest and perhaps most expensive whiskey release to date.

Brown-Forman is the company that owns Old Forester, along with other well-known and popular brands like Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, Herradura Tequila, and The GlenDronach. The 150th Decanter is filled with 12.5-year-old bourbon, and the six barrels for this release were selected by master distiller Chris Morris on April 18, 2008 and aged for 150 months on the top floor of warehouse J, rick 44, tier 1 (for those who are into those nerdy details). In 2020, 500 bottles were produced for members of the Brown-Forman family, and 150 of those were reserved for special tastings and events. Unfortunately, something else happened in 2020—a global pandemic—which forced those plans to be shelved, leading to the release of these special decanters to the public today.

So what makes this whiskey so special? Samples were not available, so we can’t evaluate it based on flavour. There have been other Old Forester releases that hit the 12-year mark—last year’s Birthday Bourbon, for example. The bourbon in this decanter may very well be fantastic, but the rarity, marketing, and actual physical bottle seem to play a big role here. The design is said to be a nod to Old Forester holiday decanters designed by Raymond Loewy in the 1950s and ’60s, and it comes inside a box made from wood recovered from the fire that took place at Old Forester’s Whiskey Row location in 2015. An exhibit at the Frazier Museum in Louisville is also opening this month, showcasing some of those old decanters.

If you want to get a bottle to try for yourself, you’ll have to shell out $2,500 and you can only purchase it from the Old Forester website. As luck would have it, it looks like this release has already sold out, but rest assured that some of these decanters will appear on the secondary market in the near future for triple the price. If you were lucky enough to snag a bottle, it comes with a VIP tour of the distillery, and cocktails and apps to enjoy with the Brown family. If you’re just looking for some regular old dependable Old Forester bourbon or rye to enjoy, you’re in luck because you can find the lineup for sale at Malt & Wine Asia.

This story was first published by Robb Report USA