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Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester Statesman: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester Statesman in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

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, OF 1920

The nose is quite fruity, with hints of caramel and vanilla and just a whiff of ethanol.

The fruit cake note appears 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 warmth in this bourbon making it an easy mellow pour, almost too mellow, but a great option for those who want an overly easy sipper.

Nothing remarkable about the Old Forester 1870 (Review), 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 mix.

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 George Garvin Brown began batching whiskey from three different warehouses as a means to ensure uniformity.

Old Forester Statesman

NoseCinnamon, cherry, oak, brown sugar
PalateHoney, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, black pepper
FinishMedium, cherry, oak, cinnamon
Alcohol content95 proof (42.5% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBirthday Bourbon, Old Forester 1920

On the nose, the Statesman hits you a high cinnamon note, followed by cherry, brown sugar and a tad of oak.

On the palate, first sip is good and sweet, rich in honey and caramel, followed by cinnamon and pepper heat.

The finish has a medium length, bringing a cherry cough syrup note, oak and more cinnamon which is the common theme in this whiskey as you get it from nose to finish.

Just enough heat at the end to warm your chest, making a good sipper.

Drinks nicely neat, yet you can make it a bit better adding a drop of water as it tunes-down the pepper heat by a notch making it easier to drink.

Overall, the Statesman is a good bourbon with traditional tasting notes, yet priced a bit higher than I would expect from a whiskey with no age statement at a moderate proof.

Old Forester Statesman was released in 2017 as a tie-in of the movie “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”.

In the film, The Statesman are a spy organization who are distillers by day and spies at night with headquarters based inside the fictional Statesman Distillery.

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

  • It does not provide an age statement but aged for up to 5 years.
  • Made from a mash bill comprised of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley.
  • The barrels to create the batch were pulled from the warmest places in the warehouse.
  • Old Forester was launched in 1870 by George Garvin Brown and named for Dr. William Forrester, who prescribed bourbon to his patients.
  • The Old Forester brand is owned by Brown-Forman along the Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s.

Old Forester 1870 vs Old Forester Statesman: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Forester 1870$5090
Old Forester Statesman$6095

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

1870 is a smoother pour than the Statesman

WhiskeyOld Forester 1870Old Forester Statesman
  • 1870 is the easier drinker of the two and the most fruity bourbon in the Old Forester lineup making it ideal for those who like easy and uncomplicated sippers.
  • The Statesman has some pepper heat to it on the palate along a cough syrup.
  • The film Golden Circle is definitely better than the bourbon, but I would still buy it just as a token.

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