By Big Sauce
The liquor store nearest to my abode offers an increasingly impressive variety of Bourbons, so it's always a treat to swagger in and back to the shelves where often there is a new surprise singing my name like a siren to a sailor. My last visit finds me Stumbling with a bottle of Old Forester, a brand I've not yet sampled. The nose speaks of the modest 86 proof, whose invigorating aroma reminds me of when I was a child and my father would put together models of warplanes in the basement, without much ventilation, and the glue and the paint vapors hung aggressively in the air. This initial boozy whiff soon reveals a more brazen caramel lingering not too far above the burnt oak. The hue is a deep brown-orange, the color of autumn, or new rust.
This Bourbon is by no means fancy, but it does actually take the time to groom its ragged mustache, so I sip neat with cold water on the side, if necessary. The thin, sharp bite of alcohol is brief, and gives rise to an alarmingly smokey peak, almost Scotchy, with characteristic undertones of molasses. Sort of strange for a Bourbon, but not off-putting. The finish is warm and manly, like a mouthful of pipesmoke in December, and not unpleasant for a 25 dollar liter. One achieves the sensation that one has done some good in this world. As with most Bourbons, the flavors go damned nicely with a plug of pipe tobacco of one's choosing. My personal preference is for a half-dry half-sweet blend, erring on the side of dry.
A song to accompany: