Liquor Laboratory

Old Forester 1920 vs 1910 Bourbon: Which is Better? (2024)

Old Forester 1920 vs 1910

Old Forester released the Row Series in 2014 to provide a premium bourbon experience with the brand’s 150 years of distilling lineage. 

The Old Forester 1920 is a crowd favorite, and while it shares a similar mash bill as 1910, it has a distinct tasting profile. 

So which bottle should you snag? Here’s the head-to-head battle of Old Forester 1920 vs 1910 to help you out. 

Old Forester 1920 vs 1910 Comparison 

Bottles of Old Forester 1920 & 1910 on top of a table

Old Forester is known as the first bottled bourbon, and two of the expressions from their Row Series have gathered so much attention for being great-tasting whiskeys. 

Old Forester 1920 boasts a higher alcohol proof making it bolder, richer, and more flavorful than Old Forester 1910.

On the other hand, 1910 is like a dessert in a glass-sweet and tasty whiskey

While they have their fair share of similarities on mash bills, ownership, and distillery, the two bourbons are more different than similar, especially on their tasting notes.

Head To Head Battle 

History & Origin

In 2014, Old Forester began to release their row series, and each bottle is named after significant years for the brand. 1920 was released earlier than 1910.

The brand launched the Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style last September 2016.

It was crafted to pay homage to the Prohibition and represent the rich flavor and vintage barrel strength. 

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky is the final addition to the Whiskey Row Series, and it was released way back in October 2018. 

In 1910, the Old Forester bottling line caught fire, so the distillery forcibly stored the matured whiskey in a secondary barrel.

To mimic the historic bottling, it underwent second barreling. Check out the best Old Forester bourbons here.

Production Process

Old Forester Bottles

The Old Forester 1920 and 1910 used a similar mash bill ratio: 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley. 

The brand recipe combines the signature mash bill and a 1B proprietary yeast strain with roughly 20% sour mash.

After fermentation, it undergoes double distillation before aging. 

After aging, 1920 is bottled at 115 proof (57.5% ABV), while 1910 undergoes secondary maturation before bottling at 93 proof (46.5% ABV). 

“1920 Prohibition Style is our toast to the innovative and enduring spirit of Old Forester”

– Campbell Brown, Old Forester President 

Aging Process & Age Statement

Both bourbons do not carry an age statement, meaning they are aged longer than four years.

Aging is important in bourbon making as it develops the spirit’s flavor profile [1]. 

While the two share an almost similar production process, they have big differences in the aging process because 1910 Old Fine Whisky undergoes second barreling.  

After initial maturation in new oak barrels, Old Forester 1910 is dumped in heavily charred, lightly toasted barrels for second maturation, which is quite noticeable in tasting notes. 

Tasting Notes 

Close up shot of Old Forester 1920 Bottle

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style

Palate: Intense caramel, malty, sweet graham cracker, green peppercorn, cedar, and coriander

Color/Hue: Medium dark chestnut 

Nose: Intense cherry, caramel, seasoned oak, maple syrup, and dark chocolate

Finish: Tart apple, long smoky finish, toasted marshmallow, chocolate, and satisfying heat 

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky

Palate: Smooth, well-rounded, mingling sweet raisin cookie, caramel, vanilla, and evolving spice

Color/Hue: Dark orange brown

Nose: Buttercream, cedar, sticky toffee, oaky, dark fruit, caramel, cinnamon, and apricot

Finish: Medium, charred oak, with lingering oakiness and caramel 

Bottle Design

Old Forester 1920 and 1910 have almost similar packaging but are distinctive because of the color coding used by the brand. 

The Old Forester 1910 uses a blue tag on top of the bottle that features the signature of George Gavin Brown, founder of the brand, and its alcohol proof. 

The Old Forester 1920 features a green tag on top of the bottle, the founder’s signature, and its alcohol-proof. 

Read: Old Forester 1920 vs Old Forester Statesman

Ownership & Distillery

close up shot of old forester 1910 bottle

The Old Forester 1920 and 1910 is produced, distilled, and bottled in Old Forester Distilling Co in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The brand is owned by Brown-Forman Corporation, a beverage giant that owns multiple brands like Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve

Price & Value

The Old Forester 1910 is cheaper than the Old Forester 1920. Based on Drizly online, a bottle of Old Forester 1910 costs around $59.99, while a bottle of Old Forester 1920 is roughly $64.99. 

The $5 difference between the two bourbons is justifiable because Old Forester 1920 is bolder, richer, and boasts a higher alcohol content. 


Which is lighter, Old Forester 1910 or 1920?

1910 is lighter than 1920. Since Old Forester undergoes second barrelling, it is sweeter and lighter than the latter. It is like a dessert on a glass with little warmth. 

Is Old Forester 1910 Old Fine whisky sweeter than 1920?

Yes, Old Forester 1910 Old Fine whisky is sweeter than 1920. Enthusiasts labeled it as dessert on a bottle because of its sweetness with rich cherry and oak notes. 

How Does Old Forester 1920 Differ from Old Forester 1910 in Terms of Flavor?

Old Forester 1920 is known for its deep, robust flavors of caramel, oak, and spice, with a full-bodied and intense palate. In contrast, Old Forester 1910 offers a smoother, more refined taste with notes of sweet caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak, thanks to its double-barreled aging process.

Which Bourbon Is Higher in Proof: Old Forester 1920 or 1910?

Old Forester 1920 has a higher proof compared to Old Forester 1910. The higher proof of Old Forester 1920 contributes to its bold and intense flavor profile, making it a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts seeking a stronger, more robust whiskey.

Are There Differences in Aging Processes Between Old Forester 1920 and 1910?

Yes, Old Forester 1920 is aged in new charred oak barrels like traditional bourbon, while Old Forester 1910 undergoes a unique double-barreled aging process. This process involves finishing the whiskey in a second, heavily charred barrel to enhance its flavor and smoothness.

Which Bourbon Is More Suitable for Sipping Neat: Old Forester 1920 or 1910?

Both Old Forester 1920 and 1910 can be enjoyed neat, but the choice depends on personal preference for flavor intensity and complexity. Old Forester 1920’s bold flavors make it ideal for sipping slowly and savoring, while Old Forester 1910’s smoother character may appeal to those seeking a more refined drinking experience.

Can Old Forester 1920 and 1910 Be Used in Cocktails?

Yes, both Old Forester 1920 and 1910 can be used in cocktails to enhance their flavor profiles. Old Forester 1920’s higher proof and bold flavors make it well-suited for classic bourbon cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan, while Old Forester 1910’s smoother character adds depth to cocktails like the Whiskey Sour or Boulevardier.

Are Old Forester 1920 and 1910 Limited Edition Bourbons?

Old Forester 1920 and 1910 are not typically marketed as limited edition bourbons, but they are part of the Whiskey Row series, which celebrates Old Forester’s rich heritage and craftsmanship. They are available year-round, but availability may vary depending on distribution and demand.

Which Bourbon Brand Is More Widely Recognized: Old Forester 1920 or 1910?

Both Old Forester 1920 and 1910 are highly regarded among bourbon enthusiasts, but Old Forester 1920 may be more widely recognized due to its bold flavors and higher proof, which appeal to seasoned whiskey drinkers.

Final Say

Old Forester 1920 and 1910 is the brand’s way to offer consumers the taste of their way through their history.

They are surprisingly great bourbons but are more different than the same.  

After blind tasting, we find Old Forester 1920 better, bolder, flavorful, and richer than 1910.

It has more warmth but will not burn your throat and is enjoyable to consume. 

If you are a fan of sweeter and lighter bourbons, go with Old Forester 1910 but if you want a solid dram and more classic bourbon taste, go with Old Forester 1920. 


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