Skip to Content

Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920 in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch

old-forester-1870-original-batch
NoseRipe fruit, vanilla, caramel, ethanol
PalateFruit cake, caramel, cinnamon, oak
FinishMedium, oak spice, caramel
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toUncle Nearest 1884, Statesman

The nose is strong in a fruit cake note, with hints of caramel and vanilla and just a whiff of ethanol.

The fruit cake note remains on the palate, along a drizzle of cinnamon, toasted caramel and a subtle touch of oak.

The finish has a medium length, with a bit of oak bitterness, but nothing too severe, and more charred caramel to it.

Very little heat in this bourbon making it an easy mellow pour, almost too mellow, but a great option for those who want an overly easy sipper with no troubling flavors.

Nothing remarkable about the Old Forester 1870 Original Batch, just a pleasant bourbon from start to finish, perfect when in the mood for an easy uncomplicated sipper.

Drinks nicely neat or rocks, although this is not something I would use to make cocktails as I feel it lacks the punch to deliver a tasty Old Fashioned.

The Old Forester Rye is more punchy promising to make your cocktail more interesting.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Forester 1870:

  • Aged for up to 4 and a half years.
  • Mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley.
  • 1870 honors the year in which Brown-Forman‘s founder began batching whiskey from three different warehouses as a means to ensure uniformity.

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, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, 1897

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

On the palate, 1920 displays a creamy body. 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 something at high proof.

The finish has a medium length, somewhat dry and warm, leaving a rich cinnamon aftertaste, 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.

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 would have batched at the beginning of Prohibition.

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 is owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation along the Jack Daniel’s and the Woodford Reserve; they are all crafted at different distilleries.
  • Old Forester has been on the market continuously since 1870, which is longer than any other bourbon.

Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceProof
Old Forester 1870$5090
Old Forester 1920$63115

Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920: Which is better?

1870 is smoother while 1920 is more tasty and punchy

WhiskeyOld Forester 1870Old Forester 1920
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • These bourbons are at the extreme end of the spectrum. On the one hand you have 1870 which is a super easy drinker, perfect for when in the mood for something super smooth.
  • And at the other pole is the 1920, a bourbon with much more character, making it a better option for consumers looking for something more tasty and punchy yet smooth as the high proof does not feel.

Personally, I prefer the 1920, but keep in mind that I will always choose the higher proof offering as I like to feel some heat.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Old Forester Bourbon where I rank every bottle.

old-forester-marcas-de-whisky

Marcas de Whisky I Tienda Online con las Mejores Marcas de Whisky en México

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

[…] Old Forester 1920, Statesman […]

Old Forester 1920 vs Old Forester Single Barrel: Which Bourbon Wins?

Monday 4th of July 2022

[…] Also read: Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920: Discover the Better! […]

Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester Statesman: Which Bourbon Wins?

Monday 4th of July 2022

[…] Also read: Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester 1920: Discover the Better! […]