Jackie Zykan with Old Forester 117 Series

New Old Forester release, 117 Series, highlights innovation

For the first time in its 150-year history, an Old Forester label will bear the signature of a woman! The first release in the new 117 Series will launch on Wednesday, March 24, and the mastermind behind the bottle is Old Fo Master Taster Jackie Zykan.

The inaugural release is named High Angels’ Share because it was chosen from a selection of barrels that lost exceptional volume to evaporation in the aging process. It’ll be released in 375ml bottles at 110 proof. The suggested retail price is $49.99.

Jackie Zykan with Old Forester 117 Series
Jackie Zykan is the mastermind behind the Old Forester 117 Series. | Courtesy of Old Forester

The 117 Series will explore product innovation and experimentation, giving fans an opportunity to try a wide range of Old Forester’s flavor profiles. According to the news release, other 117 releases could explore selections from specific warehouses, barrel manipulations, deconstructed blends and more. Essentially, the possibilities are limitless.

117 Series

“Creating the 117 Series has been a labor of love, and seeing my signature on the label is one of the highlights of my career,” said Zykan in the news release. “My mind is exploding with the endless possibilities of this smaller scale of experimentation and innovation.

“This series presents an opportunity to pull the curtain back and share the isolates of the blending process to help deepen the understanding of how variants in maturation affect flavor profile. We’re playing in uncharted territory here, and those who love Old Forester like we do will have the chance to explore with us.”

The name comes from the address of the distillery on Whiskey Row, where Old Forester was located from 1882-1919 and returned in 2018.

The bottles will be released at the distillery starting Wednesday, March 24. A limited number of tickets will be given out daily to those lining up.

The tasting notes provided included notes of dried fruit and herbaceous qualities, and from the media sample I received, I would add that it’s got that deliciously spicy zing of a snickerdoodle cookie, followed by grandma hugs of warm vanilla and a dash of hot fudge.

It’s no surprise those thirsty angels were sipping from these barrels. Simply divine.