Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Drink of the Week: Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, the day the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. And how better to mark such a momentous day than with a toast? The makers of Old Forester seem to have had the same idea; they’ve released a limited-edition Repeal Bourbon, which comes with a handy commemorative glass and a rolled-up scroll on which they've printed the 21st Amendment. The bourbon itself is blended from barrels with, to quote the press release, “a more robust character that is similar to the Old Forester that was bottled during Prohibition.” Yes, during Prohibition: Old Forester was one of just 10 distilleries issued a government permit to produce bourbon “for medical purposes” during those dry years.

Strong medicine, indeed: Old Forester Repeal is distilled to 100 proof. On the nose, it sends up potent whiffs of caramel corn, butterscotch and cake batter. It continues those sweet, buttery notes on the palate, though we found them easier to detect when we mixed in a little water to tame the 100 proof’s burn. Further sips bring plenty of oak and peppery spice, along with a touch of leather, and the finish is a long hum of pleasantly burnt butter and sugar—like the top of a torched crème brulée. It’s an assertive bourbon, well-suited to marking America’s return to legal imbibing.

And to help you celebrate this occasion, check out this 1933 playlist from A Dash of Bitters. Cheers!