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Eagle Rare vs Old Forester 1920: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Eagle Rare vs Old Forester 1920 in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Eagle Rare

eagle-rare-10
NoseToasted oak, orange peel, maple syrup
PalateOak, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, baking spice
FinishOak, tobacco, leather
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWidow Jane, Russell’s 10, Knob Creek

The Eagle Rare is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery using the same mash bill as the Buffalo Trace.

The difference lies in the aging as the Eagle Rare is aged for 10 years while the Buffalo Trace for 6.

Additional aging provides a dryer and oakier taste to the Eagle Rare making it feel like a grown-up version of the Buffalo Trace.

Nose kicks-off with toasted oak, followed by orange peel, red fruit and maple syrup.

On the palate, the Eagle Rare shows a creamy body as the texture feels buttery.

First sip is strong in oak, but as you let it develop vanilla, dried fruit, caramel and baking spice pop-up bringing good balance to the dram.

The finish is long, providing a bit of a bite, with more oak to it, along old leather and tobacco notes.

Adding water brings a bit more of caramel, tunes-down the finish, although it remains oaky.

Eagle Rare might not be the best bourbon for beginners as it’s a bit too oaky, but it has plenty to appreciate as it drinks quite nicely.

In summary, a great bourbon, a step-up over the Buffalo Trace and one of the best 10 year Old Whiskeys across the globe.

A very nice pour aimed at the serious aficionado.

  • It ages for no less than 10 years in new, highly charred American oak barrels under the sun.
  • The barrels are hand-picked for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • The brand was launched in 1975 by Seagram, was later purchased by the Old Prentice Distillery and was acquired by Sazerac in 1989.

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style

old-forester-1920
NoseCaramel, banana, spice, ethanol
PalateBrown sugar, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium, cinnamon, caramel, oak, spice
Alcohol content115 proof (57.5% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar to1910, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Old Forester is one of the six bourbons allowed to continue operations during Prohibition. During that time all whiskies were sold for “medicinal purposes” and had to be bottled at 100 Proof.

The 115 proof release represents a barrel sample that company president Owsley Brown I would have batched at the beginning of Prohibition.

Nose is sweet, rich in caramel, with a hint of banana, rye spice and just a whiff of alcohol coming behind.

On the palate, 1920 displays a creamy texture. Flavor provides vanilla and caramel, along brown sugar and a rich nutty note. There is a bit of warmth to it as you would expect from the high proof.

The finish has a medium length, somewhat dry and warm, leaving a nice cinnamon aftertaste in the mouth along caramel, oak and a tad of spice.

Old Forester 1920 is a very good sipper, well balanced and flavorful where the proof does not get in the way as it does not drink as a high proof bourbon.

The finish lacks depth but it’s full of the things I associate with a good pour: sweet, pleasantly warm, rich in oak and no off-putting notes.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Forester 1920:

  • It doesn’t have an age statement but is aged for around 4 years.
  • Made from a mash bill comprised of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley.
  • Old Forester has been on the market continuously since 1870, which is longer than any other bourbon.

Eagle Rare vs Old Forester 1920: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

BourbonPrice
Eagle Rare$60
Old Forester 1920$63

Eagle Rare vs Old Forester 1920: Which is better?

The Eagle Rare is easier to like

WhiskeyEagle RareOld Forester 1920
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Eagle Rare is an easier drinker, a bit dry and high in oak, but quite smooth and flavorful delivering a solid experience from end to end.
  • It has become a bit hard to find, so don’t go crazy about it and pay way more than the suggested retail price; it’s quite good but not is not worth to overpay.
  • The 1920 is a solid bourbon, smooth for the high proof, although I prefer the Old Forester 1910 which is dessert in a bottle and super easy and satisfying drinker.