Review: Old Forester The 117 Series – Extra Extra Old

Review: Old Forester The 117 Series – Extra Extra Old

Old Forester’s latest in its innovative 117 Series has arrived: Extra Extra Old, a double-barreled whiskey that starts with the 1910 expression and ages it in a second, heavy char barrel for 24 months. If this sounds familiar, you might remember the 1910 Extra Old bottling which arrived in 2022 and which was finished in a second barrel for 18 months. So this expression is the same recipe, just with 6 extra months of age on it. It’s the first new whiskey to arrive from new Master Taster Melissa Rift, who replaced Jackie Zykan late last year.

“This expression was born from a creative and innovative experiment while staying true to the classic taste which sets Old Forester apart,” Rift said. “Although I only joined Old Forester last month, this was one of the first new limited expressions I was honored to taste – and the extra long double barreling leads to an explosion of flavors.”

It’s a solid expression of Old Forester, even if it doesn’t exactly distinguish itself from the earlier 1910 Extra Old bottling. Here, aromas of tar, tree bark, leather, and peppery gunpowder immediately evoke the extra time spent in barrel, all very familiar save for a pinch of dried berries that offer a slight note of fig on the nose.

The palate is instantaneous with its notes of cocoa powder, old wood, and baking spice, notes of vanilla and cola quickly building. It’s never overblown with lumberyard elements, though it does find a peppery, slightly beefy quality that evokes notes of cooked bacon at times. Cloves are more prominent on the finish, along with a strident, lingering cola quality. Hints of rhubarb and brighter strawberry surprise late in this denouement.

All told, my tasting notes aren’t terribly different than the 1910 Extra Old expression, and that makes plenty of sense, though I never found the clear coffee element the prior bottling offered this time around. As with 1910 Extra Old, this is still a top-shelf expression that’s available for a song. If you missed last year’s 117, this is highly worth picking up.

93 proof.

A- / $60 / oldforester.com

Old Forester The 117 Series – Extra Extra Old

$60
9

Rating

9.0/10

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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