Who Makes Old Forester? Legacy of a Historic Bourbon

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Have you ever sipped a glass of Old Forester bourbon and wondered, “Who makes Old Forester?” Well, you’re in luck – we’ve got the answers here.

At Liquor Laboratory, we take our research seriously and have gone the extra mile to uncover the story behind the brand’s origins.

Read on as we unveil Old Forester’s maker and what makes it the iconic bourbon it is today.

All About The Maker Of Old Forester Bourbon

Old Forester Bottle on a Shelves

Old Forester bourbon is a renowned Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey brand produced by the Brown-Forman Corporation. [1]

This iconic bourbon has been a staple in the market for approximately 150 years, making it one of the oldest and most cherished bourbons around.

“Old Forester bourbon: where tradition meets the timeless taste of excellence, one sip at a time.” – Liquor Laboratory

It is produced in two locations: Shively, Kentucky, and downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The latter is the same building that produced the spirit from 1882 to 1919.

Who Owns Old Forester?

Close Up Image of The Brown-Forman Corporation

The Brown-Forman Corporation owns Old Forester. Brown–Forman’s lineup includes other renowned brands like Jack Daniel’s and Tequila Herradura and other liquor types like single-barrel, Tennessee whiskey, and tequila with distinctive mash bill percentages.

Founder George Garvin Brown brought the titular bourbon to the market. He was born on September 2, 1846, in Munfordville, Kentucky.

Because George Garvin had a background in pharmaceuticals, this led him to notice the inconsistent quality of medical whiskies at the time. This realization sparked his mission to improve the medical whiskies in the market.

In 1870, it made history by being the first bottled bourbon (whereas before, it was sold by the barrel). The brand is also known to have released the first single-barrel bourbon in history.

Read: Old Forester King Ranch Bourbon Review

Who’s The Distiller?

Old Forester Distillery

Old Forester’s Distiller in 2023 is Master Distiller Chris Morris. He has been at the helm since 2006.

“While I enjoy many bourbons, there’s something undeniably classic about Old Forester. It’s like sipping history in a glass, a timeless testament to the artistry of American whiskey-making.” – Anthony Bourdain, Chef

He is in charge of ensuring that every drop meets the high standards set by its founder over a century ago, whether that’s their standard bourbon, their single barrel bourbon, or those in the Whiskey Row series. [2]

What Brands Does Old Forester Own?

Other Old Forester brands in the lineup include:


Is Woodford Reserve the same as Old Forester?

No, Woodford Reserve and Old Forester bourbons are not the same brands. However, many argue that they’re basically the same, as they are both Brown-Forman’s brands and are made with the same mash bill (72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley).

Their main difference lies in their aging period (Old Forester ages for four years, while Woodford ages for seven years) and the fact that they’re crafted at different distilleries.

Which Old Forester is hard to find?

The Old Forester Birthday bourbon can be challenging to find. This is a limited-edition 12-year-old bourbon released in celebration of the birthday of founder George Garvin Brown.

Which Old Forester bourbon is best for an Old Fashioned?

We recommend the Old Forester Signature 100 Proof bourbon for an Old Fashioned. The higher proof of this bourbon brings a robust flavor that can stand up to the sweetness and bitters in the cocktail to create a well-balanced and flavorful Old Fashioned.

On A Final Note

To wrap things up, the Brown-Forman Corporation makes Old Forester. It is the first bottled bourbon in history, whereas before, bourbon was sold in barrels.

With a legacy spanning over a century and a commitment to quality, Old Forester remains a symbol of bourbon excellence. The brand is also credited with creating the first single-barrel bourbon in the market.

The company also owns other brands, such as America’s best-loved whiskey, Jack Daniel’s, Herradura, El Jimador Tequilas, Finlandia vodka, and Chambord liqueur.

This remarkable spirits company stands as one of the world’s top wine and spirits producers.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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