During the late 19th century, an overwhelming number of distilleries throughout the United States were still not aging their whiskey. As a result, some retailers would add juices and syrups to sweeten the whiskey, while others would add acid and tobacco to give their whiskey its signature, amber hue.
In 1870, George Garvin Brown — a young pharmaceuticals salesman from Kentucky — saw the need for a consistently high-quality whiskey that would remain unadulterated after distillation. After saving $5,500, Brown and his brother opened the doors to J.T.S. Brown & Bro. Distillery and began distilling bourbon. Unlike other distilleries at the time, Brown aged his bourbon, which was named Old Forester, in oak casks and bottled it in a sealed glass bottle to ensure authenticity and quality. Since its introduction in 1870, Old Forester has been on the market continuously, even during Prohibition, when it continued to be sold for medicinal purposes. It is the only bourbon continuously distilled and marketed by the founding family before, during and after Prohibition.
Old Forester Classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon touts itself as the first bourbon ever bottled. The bourbon is made from a mash of corn, rye and malted barley — after the grains have been milled and mashed, they are fermented for five to seven days with a proprietary yeast strain that is grown fresh daily at the distillery. This extra-long fermentation process ensures that the bourbon has an unparalleled depth and complexity. Following fermentation, the grains are twice distilled before being matured in new, American oak casks.
Inspired by the film the “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” this expression is bold and blended to 95 proof from hand-selected casks of Old Forester’s renowned Kentucky Straight bourbon “from the warmest places in the warehouse. Because true character is only revealed after a little heat” (producer). In a statement, President of Old Forester Campbell Brown proclaimed “…We’ve created an Old Forester Statesman product that is very different from the Old Forester that you would be buying today. It's in an older sort of bottle, it's a premium expression of what we make.” Winner of a Masters at the American Whiskey Masters Competition, the Statesman is an exceptional balance of heat and spice.