Reviews Whiskey

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch Whiskey Review

Overall Score: 7.0. OF 1870 Original Batch is a small batch whiskey with exceptional flavor and decent character. It’s approachable to all consumers and is great neat or in a cocktail.


  • Price: $47
  • Proof: 90 (45% ABV)
  • Type: Bourbon
  • Age: No Age Statement
  • Distillery: Brown-Forman
  • Visit the distillery page at Old Forester 1870

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Nose: The alcohol scent is light and the aromas are limited. There’s a hint of sweetness that matches the caramel tone of the whiskey’s appearance. The nose is average with little standing out. It’s in line with the 90 proof distilling. Anyone saying otherwise is a bullshit liar.

Palate: Fortunately, the palate doesn’t match the nose as you’re greeted with wonderful flavors and a delicious mash bill. The initial sip offers low heat, but the whiskey builds into a moderate burn with decent complexity. Every additional drink is more enjoyable as you pick up various tasting notes. This whiskey appeals to a wide audience due to the low heat, moderate complexity, and outstanding flavors. It’s a quality drink and provides good value.

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Finish: The finish matches the complexity with a moderate close. The exceptional flavors remain on your palate but dissipate quickly. The lasting impression is positive and encourages you to go back for more. Unfortunately, the finish can’t be described as unique. It matches the price and meets expectations, but it doesn’t exceed them. There aren’t any bold flavors, but it’s tough to expect that with the proof.


Overall Score: 7.0 (note: score reflects taste and price)

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch is a small batch bourbon that pays homage to George Garvin Brown, the founder of OF. This offering, from the wildly popular Whiskey Row Series, leverages barrels from three separate warehouses, each with different production ages. The end result is a very tasty whiskey with moderate complexity and low heat. It lacks uniqueness but will be enjoyed by many consumers, regardless of palate and experience.

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Degenerate Discussion

Make sure to check out all of our reviews from the Old Forester Whiskey Collection for a full analysis on how 1870 stacks up against other offerings from the distillery.

This was the first bottle I purchased from the Whiskey Row Series…likely because I was poor and this was the cheapest one. Surprisingly, it stacks up well in the series and offers decent value in the bourbon market. This is the bottle to grab when your bullshit friends that don’t drink whiskey show up at the house and you’re trying to convince them to join the dark side. The flavor is great and there’s low burn, which are a great combination for non-whiskey drinkers. The only argument I would make is against the marketing, since whiskey in 1870 had to taste like shit, and this is a solid bourbon. Nonetheless, we’ll lean in and thank George for implementing a small batch process and founding one of the greatest distilleries. Cheers to George and our fellow Degenerates!


You can find Old Forester 1870 on the following Degenerate listing:

  • Old Forester Whiskey Row Series
  • Small Batch Whiskeys Reviews

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