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Old Forester 86 vs Old Forester 100: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Old Forester 86 vs Old Forester 100 in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Old Forester 86

NoseBrown sugar, caramel, ethanol
PalateVanilla, banana, oak, spice
FinishCaramel, oak
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toEvan Williams, Buffalo Trace

The nose kicks-off with a sharp ethanol hit that quickly dissipates into a sweet scent of brown sugar and caramel.

On the palate, the Old Forester 86 has a decent body showing a medium texture. Flavor is smooth and a bit musty, with hints of vanilla, banana, cinnamon and a dash of charred oak spice providing a bitter note.

The finish is short-lived, with caramel and oak to it with very little to no warmth.

It drinks nicely neat or rocks and the little higher than average proof (86) makes it a good option for an affordable Old Fashioned.

Old Forester 86 (Review) has nothing remarkable or off-putting, getting the job done providing good value for the money.

Way better than other budget bourbons like Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s that have odd tasting notes, but lacking the complexity of whiskeys like the Buffalo Trace which is priced a bit higher.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Forester 86:

  • Does not have an age statement, but is around 4 years.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • This was the first bottled bourbon sold in sealed glass bottles instead of from barrels, to ensure consistent quality.
  • Old Forester was launched in 1870 by George Garvin Brown and named for Dr. William Forrester, who prescribed bourbon to his patients.

Old Forester 100 Proof Signature Bourbon

NoseAlcohol, oak, caramel
PalateCaramel, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, mint
FinishSpice, tobacco, oak
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toKnob Creek, Old Forester 1897

The nose is mostly ethanol that fades as you let it breathe. Oak and caramel pop-up after a few minutes.

On the palate, Old Forester 100 has a medium body. Oak and caramel come in strong, followed by hints of cinnamon, bitter chocolate, cherries and a touch of mint. Just a bit of barrel spice coming late.

The finish has a medium length, with very little warmth to it, a bit of spice, tobacco and oak.

Drinks easy neat, yet adding water brings additional sweetness and oak, while tuning down the spicy hints.

I would not use it as a mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver good cocktails; the Old Forester Rye is better for such purpose.

Old Forester 100 Proof (Review) is a good everyday sipper as it’s quite smooth for a 100 proof pour.

It delivers great value for the money at its current price.

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

  • Aged for around 4 years.
  • Made from a mash bill comprised of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley.
  • The bottle carries the signature of George Gavin Brown on the label.
  • Crafted at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively, KY.
  • Old Forester has been on the market continuously since 1870, which is longer than any other bourbon.

What’s the difference between Old Forester 86 and Old Forester 100?

Difference lies in the proof

  • They are the same whiskey and they mostly have the same tasting notes. Is just that the 86 suffered more water-dilution before botting than the Old Forester 100.
  • In consequence, the OF 100 is more tasty, just a tad warmer but still pretty smooth for an 100 proof bourbon as the heat is barely felt.

Old Forester 86 vs Old Forester 100: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Forester 86$24
Old Forester 100$27

Old Forester 86 vs Old Forester 100: Which is better?

The OF 100 is a champ in terms of value

WhiskeyOld Forester 86Old Forester 100
  • They are the same whiskey, just that the additional proof makes it better.
  • The Old Forester 100 is more tasty as the 86 was basically watered-down before bottling.
  • If you feel the heat add a few drops of water and that will tune-down the bourbon making it easier to sip.
  • By adding water you are basically turning the Old Forester 100 into the 86!!!

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

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