Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Old Forester has released its 2022 Birthday Bourbon this year, and many whiskey drinkers want to get a hold of even just one bottle.
But what makes the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon so popular?
Let’s find out in this post as we explore everything about this spirit – its history, tasting notes, how it’s made, price and value, and its edge over other spirits.
If you’re ready, let’s start.
All About Old Forester Bourbon 2022 Edition
The 22nd iteration of Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon is a vintage-dated version of the company’s whiskey, created to celebrate George Brown’s birthday.
This year marks the company’s 152nd anniversary since it was founded in 1870.
The new version of Old Forester’s birthday Bourbon is made from 11-year-old barrels.
After showcasing their unique characteristics during a tasting panel, the barrels were selected for the special edition.
The full allotment of the whiskey represents one day’s production of the brand.
Did You Know?
History & Origin
Old Forester released the Birthday Bourbon to commemorate the 156th birthday of the company’s founder, George Garvin Brown, on September 2, 2002.
It is the first-ever vintage-dated bourbon in the industry. But what’s the best Old Forester bourbon?
How It’s Made
The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2022 is bottled at 96 proof (or 48% ABV). This release features a traditional blend of Old Forester’s whiskey.
Its mash bill is composed of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley. It’s the same blend used by the company’s sister brand, the Woodford Reserve.
“Birthday Bourbon holds a special place among Old Forester’s limited releases.”Chris Morris, Master Distiller
As a result of the Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon’s mash bill, it is recognized as the “pretty standard” and “richer in rye compared to most bourbons.”
Aging Process & Age Statement
The aging process of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is aged using 119 barrels for 12 years.
In short, it carries a 12-year age statement. However, in this year’s batch, it has an 11-year age statement.
During its production, 119 barrels were filled. This equates to approximately 6,307 gallons of fine juice.
Due to the increase in bottles available in 2021, the total amount allocated for 2021 should be around 25% higher.
Subtle yet understated blends of dried fruit, dark chocolate, and vanilla with hints of a clean herbal mint finish. The notes of oak and apple are combined with the spice character and sweet fruit to create a delightful blend.
Cognac-like orange color
The fragrance of velvety dark locust honey
Features chocolate and mint hints with a slightly dry, clean, yet sharp finish
Ownership & Distillery
George Garvin Brown is the founder of Old Forester.
- Old Forester Single Barrel Bourbon Guide
- Old Forester Statesman Bourbon Guide
- Old Forester Statesman Bourbon vs 1920 Guide
Price & Value
The 750ml version of birthday bourbon is a highly sought-after offering, and its prices will likely go up significantly over the retail price.
Due to its limited availability, secondary market prices will be much higher than the retail price.
The suggested retail price is around $150. However, anyone who has actually looked for this particular batch can vouch for its quality.
If you’re willing to pay high prices for secondary markets, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for each bottle.
What’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Lottery?
Old Forester realized most of their fans were getting shut out. So, they decided to stop selling the Birthday Bourbon at their distillery in Whiskey Row.
Instead, they will allow everyone to win one of their $149.99 bottles through a nationwide lottery.
The release of Old Forester’s birthday bourbon in 2022 is only available to purchase through the company’s lottery.
The winners were notified on September 2. They had the opportunity to purchase a bottle of the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon at the Louisville distillery.
Compared to Other Bourbons
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is more high proof (96 proof) compared to the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon’s 90.4 proof.
But when it comes to price and value, Woodford Reserve is more affordable (around $39 per 750ml) than the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (around $130 per 750ml).
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Buffalo Trace Bourbon is more of a sipping spirit compared to the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.
But if you want a unique and limited-edition release, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is really excellent.
However, Old Forester is more pricey than the Buffalo Trace Bourbon (around $27 per 750ml).
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is made up of two mash  bills compared to the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.
Regarding its price point, Old Forester  is still pricey compared to the $30 range of the Four Roses Smatch Bourbon.
How many bottles of Old Forester Birthday 2022 bourbon are made?
Old Forester made 14,400 Birthday Bourbon this year, which is a thousand more than last year’s batch.
The demand increases yearly; however, its distillery can only bottle limited amounts.
Where can you buy Old Forester Birthday bourbon?
You can’t buy Old Forester Birthday Bourbon in-store this year.
Old Forester held a sweepstake to give fans an opportunity to purchase the birthday bourbon. Only the winners can purchase the bottle.
Can anyone just buy an Old Forester Birthday bourbon?
Not anyone can buy the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Only the winners of the lottery have the chance to buy a bottle at the Old Forester Distillery in Kentucky.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is one of the limited-release spirits that’s very hard to find. Also, you can’t just buy a bottle unless you win the distillery’s lottery.
Due to its unique character and the story behind this spirit, many whiskey enthusiasts are interested in trying out the spirit, resulting in very high demand.
It’s pricey but reasonable as it’s a very special bourbon from one of the prominent distilleries – the Old Forester Distillery.