Old Forester is releasing a special bourbon as a tie-in with the film Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and like Eggsy’s reward for saving the world at the end of the first Kingsman film, we’re excited to give it a try. Statesman Bourbon, as it's being called, is not just a repackaged bottle of Old Forester — it's a special selection batch of Old Forester’s typical premium bourbon.
The barrels used to make Statesman come from the “warmest places in the warehouse,” which are typically the top floor. In the summer in Kentucky, top floors of warehouses can reach 120 degrees, causing a lot more evaporation than you might expect otherwise, but it can also cause a lot more flavor to be drawn from the wood, which expands in warmer conditions.
Having not tasted the whiskey, we assume they’re telling the truth in tasting notes using the word “intense” to describe it. Other notes include a “bold flash of pepper, cinnamon bark, sharp citrus.” Master Distiller Chris Morris apparently wanted to capture the taste bud version of this:
Statesmen boasts a rye mash bill, as you’d expect from Old Forester, with 18 percent rye, 72 percent corn, and 10 percent malted barley — the typical profile for the distillery. Statesman is being bottled at 95 proof, probably to make it a little more palatable. Movie tie-in bourbon, after all, is meant to reach people who don’t typically drink bourbon, so it was never going to be a monster barrel-proof product. And at $55 it’s not going to hurt taste buds or wallets.
Plus, they paid us the respect of releasing something that wasn’t flavored. That wouldn’t have been very… gentlemanly.