By Richard Thomas
Product placement of whiskey is nothing new, but it’s still rather novel to concoct a new product for such a purpose. Yet that is what was done not once, but twice for the recently released sequel to the spy parody/bro film Kingsman. In this film, the British spooks cross the Atlantic and meet their American counterparts, who are headquartered in a Kentucky whiskey distillery. Thus, there is a Glendronach Kingsman Edition Single Malt representing Scotch, while on our side of the pond is the Old Forester Statesman Bourbon.
One might think that Statesman is merely the standard Old Forester (86 proof) and upped to 95 proof, but that is not quite the case. It comes from the same base of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% barley new make stock, but the barrels chosen for Statesman came from the warmer parts of the warehouses. So, we are talking about a particular blend and batch here, on top of the higher proof. The results were something well above what one typically expects from a mere movie tie-in.
The look of the whiskey is solid amber, while the swish and coat dropped a few thick legs. I found the nose to be candy corn sweet and well endowed with vanilla, but predominately wood spicy, a strong reflection of coming from the upper floors of the warehouse.
On the palate, you can tell from the first sip that this is a full-bodied Bourbon, one that is sweet, murky and spicy. The flavor is like a vanilla pudding coated with ground cinnamon and cloves, and with tart apple shavings mixed in. The finish is long, creamy and a touch minty.
This Bourbon is thicker and spicier than the standard Old Forester, so much so that I’m a little sad that it’s not going into regular release. Instinctively, I think the price is a little high. That said, it really does stack up pretty well against some other Bourbons I can think of now in the $50 to $60 price range.
The official pricing for this Bourbon is $59, but a sampling of online retailers gave me an average of $55.
* Correction: Good news. Old Forester Statesman is a permanent brand extension, not a one-time limited edition.