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Old Forester Remembers the Whiskey Row Fire with a New Bourbon

Old Forester Distilling Co. is eternally indebted to the brave men and women of the Louisville Fire Department who were able to save their business on 117/119 Main Street from a fire that blazed through Whiskey Row — now a tourist destination bustling with activity — back on July 7, 2015. That day, a lot-full of barrels were filled by the distillery, eight of which were selected in 2020 by the firefighters who extinguished the fire on that fateful day. It sold out in just two days.

Now, for the 7th anniversary of the Whiskey Row fire, Old Forester has debuted the remainder of the whiskey from the barrels filled back on July 7, 2015, as the fourth installment in its 117 Series, which celebrates the history of the distillery. Past expressions include the Warehouse K and the overproof High Angels’ Share. The Whiskey Row Fire edition has been aged for seven years and is bottled at 100 proof. All proceeds from the sale of the spirit will be donated to the Louisville Fire Department.

As for the whiskey itself, it’s a straight Kentucky bourbon that’s dark orange-brown in color and has a sweet bouquet of honey, malt, marzipan, cedar, cherries, and vanilla. The palate exudes similar saccharine notes of brown sugar, marzipan, vanilla, and honey, with hints of berries giving way to a long finish.

Since 1870, Old Forester has become one of the most well-established names in American whiskey-making, and thanks to the men and women of the Louisville Fire Department, the distillery is able to continue without missing a beat. The 117 Series: Whiskey Row Fire edition is produced in limited quantities of 375mL bottles and is available from Old Forester for $60, or in two-bottle sets on its online store $120.

Purchase: $60