Bourbon Industry

Three Ky. distilleries to offer unique batches in coming months

Three Kentucky distilleries have announced plans to release special bourbons.

Louisville-based Brown-Forman is releasing its annual Old Forester Birthday Bourbon this month to honor founder George Garvin Brown, whose birthday was Sept. 2.

The 12th limited-edition release is selected from a single day of production by master distiller Chris Morris and is vintage-dated.

“Old Forester is the only bourbon still in existence today that was produced before, during and after Prohibition by its original distiller,” Morris said. “No other bourbon brand sold in the U.S. today can make that claim.”

Now in production for 140 years, Old Forester was the first bourbon sold only in a bottle, according to Brown-Forman.

The 97-proof, Limited Release 2013 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon will be sold beginning in mid-August for a suggested retail price of $54.99 nationwide.

The “birthday bourbons” have won many awards over the years. “This year’s batch was selected for its robust presentation of flavors which showcase vanilla bean caramelized oak paired with deep layers of warming spices and a delicate nut character,” Morris said. “A rich aroma and a long, warm finish make this yet another must-have release.”

Four Roses in Lawrenceburg this fall will release its second special-edition barrel-strength bourbon to mark 125 years of distilling.

The 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon is a blend of three of Four Roses’ recipes: an 18-year-old and two 13-year-olds. According to Four Roses, the bourbon has aromas of creamy vanilla, light oak and cherry cordial, with a palate of raspberries and apricots and a long vanilla bean finish. About 8,000 bottles will be available in U.S. markets in September and will retail for $85 to $100.

Buffalo Trace in Frankfort is releasing the 10th round of bourbons from the distillery’s Single Oak Project, a research project using 96 trees made into 192 barrels. The series will release bourbons from a different set of barrels every three months. The 10th batch — very limited quantities, only one bottle from each dozen barrels per case — will hit stores this month, priced about $46.

According to Buffalo Trace, consumer reviews of the previous releases dating back to 2011, voted online at  , have put barrel No. 59 in the lead. After all the bourbons have been released in 2015, Buffalo Trace will re-create the winner for a new release to be called Single Oak.