In the late 1700s, bourbon distilleries helped shape downtown Louisville by opening offices along a section of Main Street that became known as Whiskey Row. But after Prohibition forced most of their closures, Louisville took a back seat in the state’s bourbon story.
Now, with several distilleries already open around the city’s center and a handful more on the way, Louisville is becoming a bourbon tourism destination at an unprecedented pace. Full story
Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries filled more than 1.88 million barrels last year, the most since 1967, according to a news release from the Frankfort-based Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group. Full story
Old Forester is widely known for producing inexpensive and well-regarded bourbon, a favorite of bartenders and whiskey drinkers who recognize the brand’s quality and value. Old Forester is also known for its coveted white whale whiskey, the annual Birthday Bourbon expression. Since 2002, it has been released every September 2nd (or thereabouts) to mark founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday. Full story
The first barrel rolled off the line at Brown-Forman’s cooperage in Louisville 70 years ago and, with very minor changes, the barrels still are rolling briskly today.
“We have been making new barrels for the whiskey industry longer than anyone else,” said master distiller Chris Morris. “We’re also the only major distilling company that makes its own new barrels — in the world.” Full story
Campbell Brown, president of Brown-Forman’s Old Forester bourbon, and brand ambassador Jackie Zykan (pictured below) were in London recently, in time to catch the London heat of the brand’s ongoing cocktail competition, and to present a masterclass in London. Full story
In a working-class neighborhood in western Louisville, near a fire station, Baptist churches and homes with gray vinyl siding, some tall red-brick structures stand out – in part because one of them seems to be propping up a giant bottle of bourbon.
Visitors who stroll down this part of Dixie Highway are inclined to pay more attention to the building on the east, the official headquarters of Brown-Forman Corp., which impresses with neatly cut shrubs, smooth lawn and majestic, white columns. Full story
An often-overlooked category of whiskey is bottled in bond bourbon. This is probably mostly due to the fact that not very many brands actually carry expressions that fit the stringent criteria, part of which involves minutiae like government-certified warehouses. Obviously, the rules that classify bourbon as bonded aren’t mandatory, so why would a brand even bother? Well, there’s a bit of history behind it. Full story
September’s bourbon heritage month is special for Old Forester, and it’s long history in Kentucky. As America’s First Bottled Bourbon and America’s longest continuously produced bourbon, there is no better bourbon to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with than Old Forester. This 145 year old authentic Kentucky bourbon is the only bourbon distilled, aged and bottled in the city of Louisville. Full story
Every fall, bourbon lovers make a pilgrimage to Kentucky for two things: the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which runs through Sunday in Bardstown, and the fall bourbon releases. Kentucky is ground zero for new bourbon — it’ll be released here if it’s anywhere, typically — so collectors come hoping to stock up. Bourbon sleuths scout the new labels approved by the federal government months in advance for inklings of what might be coming. Full story
Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga said Wednesday that the company aspires to grow Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, the Herradura tequila family and other major labels into billion-dollar brands. “Because Jack Daniel’s has become so big, the bar for everything else at Brown-Forman has gone up,” Varga told shareholders at the annual meeting. “These brands could become this kind of valuable.” Full story
A little more than two weeks after fire damaged three historic buildings, Brown-Forman is kicking off construction of its new Old Forester Distillery. “The first and only bourbon born and bred on Whiskey Row is Old Forester,” master distiller Chris Morris, said. Morris is excited about bringing Old Forester back to its roots. Full story
The groundbreaking for the $45 million Old Forester Distillery was announced Friday — days after a July 6 fire in neighboring Whiskey Row buildings jeopardized the Main Street project planned by Brown-Forman Corp. An announcement from the Louisville-based liquor maker said the groundbreaking is Wednesday for the $45 million project devoted to the company’s founding brand. Full story
Old Forester, a bourbon brand produced by Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp., has a new spokesperson. Bartender and manager Jacquelyn Zykan has been hired to represent the brand globally as “master bourbon specialist.” In the newly created role, Zykan will conduct training events and demonstrations and will work with bartenders, as well as serving as a spokesperson, a release said. Full story
Remember how exciting it was when Brown-Forman Corp. announced that it was investing $30 million to build a distillery on Main Street? Well, here’s exciting news: The company is now investing $45 million in the project. Full story
Kentucky Derby fans will be able to splurge on $1,000 mint juleps at the races on Saturday. That’s $45 for each sip — if they drink the bourbon cocktail according to the instructions outlined by whiskey expert Chris Morris. Full story
Heads up to anyone who has attended the Kentucky Derby in the last 18 years. Guess what? That Mint Julep you’ve likely guzzled, it wasn’t a real Mint Julep.
Tomorrow marks an important break from tradition for the Derby. After nearly two decades, Old Forester bourbon will replace Early Times Kentucky whisky as the event’s official spirit. Meaning, for the first time in a long while Derby spectators will sip Mint Juleps made with actual bourbon, as called for in the classic cocktail’s traditional recipe. Full story
About halfway through our lunch, George Garvin Brown IV makes me keenly aware of a deficiency in my cocktail ware I didn’t even know was there. “Everyone,” he says with simple conviction, “needs a mint julep cup.”
It’s an odd thing to hear from someone who grew up in Montreal, not exactly the mint julep capital of the world. But an item in Mr. Brown’s collection of these silver cups speaks to the roots of his conviction about proper cocktail service: The cup, from 1912, was a gift to his grandfather from his great-great-grandfather. The first George Garvin Brown founded what is now Brown-Forman Corp., maker most famously of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Full story
If the Kentucky Derby is America’s race, Old Forester may be Louisville’s bourbon, and this year the two come together as Old Forester debuts as the bourbon for the official mint juleps served in the thousands of Derby glasses at Churchill Downs, the latest stage in a resurgence for Brown-Forman Corp.’s first brand. Full story
Old Forester Mint Julep, a 60-proof ready-to-serve cocktail made with Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, will be available for sale in select stores as of late-March. In addition to stores, Churchill Downs® will serve Old Forester Mint Julep, recently named “The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby®,” during the 141st Kentucky Derby®. Full story
Louisville-based distilling giant, Brown-Forman, announced that the Old Forester brand has a new president in Campbell Brown. Business First sat down with Brown earlier today to discuss his new position and the future of the brand. Full story
Campbell Brown has been promoted to the new position of president, Old Forester at Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp., effective May 1. Brown is a fifth-generation descendent of company founder George Garvin Brown, according to a news release. He’ll be responsible for the worldwide growth of the Old Forester trademark, which is something the company has focused on of late. Full story
A great look at late 2014 limited edition whiskeys. Full story
Brown-Forman Corporation today announced that it will open a distillery and bourbon experience for its founding brand, Old Forester, in two historic buildings on West Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky. Brown-Forman expects to open the Old Forester Distillery in the fall of 2016, building on the company’s strong bourbon whiskey heritage by creating a world-class distilling operation and visitor destination that showcases the craftsmanship and authenticity of Old Forester, the first bottled bourbon. The company anticipates investing approximately $30 million in this project. Read the full press release
Brown-Forman’s Old Forester might be the Betty White of bourbons: as smart and entertaining as ever and remarkably hip again. Full story
Old Forester has quite the pedigree. Founded in 1873, it’s older than Coca-Cola and was the first bourbon to be sold in bottles. Even during Prohibition, a special medicinal license kept Old Forester in production. And for Louisville, it’s the ultimate “buy local” bourbon—distilled, bottled and aged right here in the city. Full story