I just posted in the scotch thread about my trip to a local honey hole of a store with my father, but what I didn't post there was that I made yet another impulse purchase, despite saying just a few posts upthread that I was going to limit myself to one purchase a month.
I stop at this store on my way home whenever I visit my parents, though usually I just browse. The last couple of times there, I was looking for Old Grand-Dad 114, but all they carry is the 1.75L bottles of the 86 proof version. Today, however, my father wanted to go and resupply, and I went in strictly to browse, as I had just picked up the Ancient Age only a few days ago. What I wasn't expecting was to find Old Forester 100 for $25. This brand has been on my radar also, but I'd never seen the 100 proof before, and for the third time in this store, I found a bottle whose price was so low to me that grabbing it was a reflex.
Because I had so much fun sharing my tasting experience here last night, I'm going to do it again...
First thought: So dark. Had to hold it next to the WT101 and Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond and I think it really is a touch darker. Had to look up the mash bill, could only find that all Old Forresters have 18% rye in their mash bill, which appears to be 5% more rye than WT 101. I'm on record here of being leery of rye, so here goes nothing.
First sniff is less Wild Turkey and more Evan Williams, in that the Wild Turkey burns my nose a little yet the vapors from the Forester give me mostly what I guess is vanilla, but with something foreboding behind it. I know that mint is often a note that accompanies rye, and I think it's mixing with and slightly masking the other flavors.
First sip is hot yet not burning and gives way to caramel/brown sugar more than vanilla and an oaky aftertaste that actually fades pretty quickly, leaving me a little puzzled; how can it hit so strong at first and then fade so quickly?
Second sip not as hot as the first, so the actual flavors hit my palate quicker, and this time the last notes are kind of chocolatey but not sweet.
Against my better judgement, I added a drop of water for my third sip, which actually made it smell more like the WT101 to me and turned the heat more into spice, pleasantly peppery, and made it even a little sweeter.
Knee-jerk thoughts: Can't help but compare it to the Evan Williams and Wild Turkey due the proof, and I think I like it more than the Evan Williams BiB but not as much as the WT101, even though it doesn't have the afterburn that the WT101 has. Not the biggest fan of the initial heat but it fades quickly enough and it seemed to welcome the splash of water. Looking forward even more to trying the Old Grand-Dad BiB and/or the 114.