Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Repeal Bourbon

I’ll assume that you are all stuffed with turkeys (those of you living in the States, anyway) and while you are coming out of your tryptophan-induced comas you’re probably realizing with horror that Xmas is less than a month away. But while you’re freaking out about visiting relatives and the perfect gift for your loved ones, I want to remind you that there is an event much closer and much more important than all of that damn goodwill to men hoopla: Repeal Day.

For those of you that have been living in a dry cave for the last 75 years, Repeal Day is the day that we celebrate the 21st Amendment, that little piece of paper that allowed America to drink freely after thirteen years of imposed drought. If you want to find out more on Repeal Day, please click here. And for a fun video, click below.

While some people think that I’m insane to take such an event so seriously, allow me to assure you that I’m not the only one. This madman has been accused of leading the charge for this all-important event, and our good friends here have been getting more and more involved with each passing year. Now Brown-Forman has jumped on the bandwagon with their release of Old Forester Repeal Bourbon.

First of all:

The Press Release

Old Forester will release Old Forester Repeal Bourbon, a new, one-time, limited-release bourbon expression celebrating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Old Forester Repeal Bourbon will come in a mock circa-1933 375ml bottle and carry an Old Forester replica label from that era. Bottles are expected to arrive in stores nationwide in early December. (Editor’s Note: they’re already out there)

Old Forester became America’s first bottled bourbon in 1870 when Louisville-native George Garvin Brown recognized the need for a bourbon of consistent high quality and began putting Old Forester in glass bottles. Brown, a pharmaceutical salesman, was so sure of the quality of Old Forester that he put his hand-written guarantee on each bottle – a practice continued today. Old Forester is the only bourbon in existence today that has been produced continuously for over a century, including between the Prohibition years of 1920 and 1933 when it received one of only ten government permits to produce bourbon for medicinal purposes when alcohol sales were otherwise illegal in the United States. No other bourbon sold in the U.S. today can make that claim.

“Repeal Bourbon celebrates the rich history of Old Forester’s role as the founding brand of Brown-Forman,” said Joe Murray, Brand Manager for Old Forester. “Old Forester still lives up to its claim of ‘There is nothing better in the market’ over 135 years since its inception and is proud to be the only bourbon produced before, during and after Prohibition.”

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon will come in a gift pack which in most markets will include a scroll of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended Prohibition, and an Old Forester snifter. Repeal Bourbon is 100-proof and will retail for a suggested retail price of $24.99 wherever Old Forester is sold. (Editor’s Note: you can find it cheaper)

“Repeal Bourbon is bottled from a special selection of Old Forester barrels that exhibited a more robust character that is similar to the Old Forester that was bottled during Prohibition,” added Chris Morris, Master Distiller for Old Forester. “The flavor, presented at Prohibition’s required 100 proof, is a full, deep, charred oak character that will appeal to bourbon-lovers everywhere.”

Tasting Notes

Pouring out my first dram of this strikingly rich-hued copper liquid, I couldn’t help but wish that they had included a cork for the bottle instead of a plastic screw cap. (I guess one can’t have everything.) The first sip made me immediately aware of the 100 proof nature of this whiskey so I added a tiny dash of water and swirled it around to help open up the whiskey before I tentatively inhaled and sipped. Spicy oak, citrus, charcoal and a discernable aroma of bacon (yes! freakin’ bacon! woo hoo!) were followed by hot, dry flavours of rye and caramel corn. This showing of Old Forester had nice acid and was ending with a clean, moderate finish, encouraging me to take another sip. Between the presentation of the packaging and the quality of the product I felt inclined to immediately purchase another bottle for posterity.

Well, I’ve told you about it and we’ve tasted it, now it’s time to mix with it. While I’ve created a drink in honor of Repeal Day before, it was scotch based and as the post is about Old Forester, let’s create a new concoction using that bourbon as a base.

Ladies and germs, I give you the:


1 ½ oz Old Forester Repeal Bourbon
¼ oz Forgotten Flavours Swedish Punch
¼ oz Rothman and Winter Apricot Liqueur
dash of Bitter Truth Repeal bitters
stir and strain into an absinthe rinsed, chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a brandied cherry

This incredibly tasty libation marries the fruity flavors of the punch and liqueur and has them doing the Lindy Hop with the bourbon. The Repeal bitters tie it all in together and the absinthe adds nice aromas and back notes. While this was pleasant with a lemon twist garnish, a kirsch-and-brandy-soaked cherry made it decadent.

You may notice that I branded all of the spirits used in this recipe today. I normally don’t tell you name brands unless I’ve received a free sample or unless the supplier is so small that I wouldn’t expect them to hand out a sample to every Tom, Dick and Blogger. In this case not only did I get free samples, but I wanted to provide a recipe that very, very few people will be able to replicate. (If you’re wondering why few will be able to recreate this concoction, let’s just say it’s difficult for those in North America to get Bitter Truth or Forgotten Flavours products, and that it will be next to impossible for those in Europe to get the Repeal Bourbon). One could say that I’m feeling a little rascally today.


Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Drink and pictures by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


~ by Jamie Boudreau on November 28, 2008.

12 Responses to “Old Forester Repeal Bourbon”

  1. […] While I’ve created a drink in honor of Repeal Day before, it was scotch based and as the post is about Old Forester, let’s create a new concoction using that bourbon as a base. Ladies and germs, I give you the: … Original post […]

  2. […] Old Forester Repeal Bourbon […]

  3. Wow. That sounds really good. I’ll try to get a bottle for christmas.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. oh well here i am all alone in europe, lets see what i can manage off the shelves of my home bar on a saturday night:

    now, the repeal bourbon, there im stumped, will have to substitute using the ‘eagle rare single barrel bourbon’…

    as for swedish punch, i live in denmark, so who cares about substitutes, we have there real thing available in the shops: the one i have open is ‘carlshamns flaggpunsh’, thatll have to do…

    apricot liqueur, ill try a french variety, joseph cartron’s apricot brandy.

    finally, the mailman came the other day bringing a copule of bottles of bitter truth’s repeal day bitter (which i tried in an alabazam instead of angostura, WOW) – you order it directly from the BT home page – easy thing…

    (kirsh/brandy cherry, no problemos, made a batch last indian summer with cherries from the garden)

    ok lets mix…

    (few minutes later…)

    HEY all i need in that home bar of mine is a bourdreau 🙂 – WONDERFUL drink!!

  5. Niels:
    If only Eagle Rare were anything like the Repeal Bourbon! As for the apricot liqueur, Giffard’s would be a closer approximation.
    I’m glad that you enjoyed the drink though!
    (oh and it’s Boudreau, not Bourdreau)

  6. SORRY – blame that extra ‘r’ on the 21st amendment 😉

    unfortunately we don’t get even close to special editon bourbons here in denmark – however, were one of the world’s largest markets for single malt whiskies.

    SO – instead of substituting a less complex bourbon for the old forrester repeal, which single malt would match it in complexity, and blend with the liqueurs and the bitter of your ’21st amandment’?

    hmmm – oak, citrus, charcoal’n bacon (bacon!?!)… tomorrow night ill try the bowmore 27 year which has JUST a hint of – of all things – apricot in it…

  7. Dear Mr. Boudreau,

    Forgive my innocent ingenuity but… what is a Swedish Punch?

  8. This and That:
    as per Cocktail dB:
    Also known as
    Caloric Punch, Caloric Punsch, Arak Punch, Arrack Punch, Arak Punsch, Arrack Punsch

    Generic for a type of smoky Scandinavian liqueur, Batavia Arak/Arrack-based & flavored. Batavia Arak is a distillate of fermented sugar cane juice and fermented Javanese rice – which creates a sharp smoky rummy spirit. Swedish Punsch (or Punch) sweetens this with cane sugar to produce an unforgettable liqueur. Notable brands are Cederlund’s Carlshamn’s and Gronstedt. Like a dark smoky rum and when added to other lesser rums tends to enhance their value in an estimable way.

  9. So….could one sweeting some Arak to produce an approximation of the Punsch or are there other flavors added, Mr. Boudreau?

  10. alcohology:
    If you don’t have Swedish Punch, then that would be the easiest way to come to an approximation. There are other flavours involved, depending upon which Punsch you are trying to emulate.

  11. […] month; and, surprisingly, the 21st Amendment.  That one is devilishly complicated to make (being a Jamie Boudreau creation), but is unremittingly […]

  12. New e mail address hostert57@comcast.net a member of the 1870 sociery

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