The Mysterious Angels’ Share of Old Forester Bourbon

Old Forester is known throughout the world for producing some of the finest bourbons on the market. What makes their products even more special is their unique Angels' Share, a slow evaporation of distilled aging inside each barrel. This process creates an offering up to the angels in heaven to pray for a really great in the barrel. Just recently, Old Forester released their annual Birthday Bourbon Sweepstakes, which is limited to 14,400 bottles in total – about a thousand more than last year's batch.

So what exactly is this mysterious Angels' Share? To put it simply, the Angels' Share is an evaporation process that happens while bourbon ages in oak . As bourbon ages, some of it naturally evaporates through the wood staves of each barrel and heads up towards the heavens where angels enjoy sipping on this heavenly elixir before blessing us with its complex flavor profiles that can only be achieved with old-fashioned aging techniques.

When we talk about Angels' Share, we're talking about a portion of a distillate that's lost due to evaporation. This loss can range from two to 12 percent per year depending on climate and other factors, and typically increases as the spirit ages longer in oak barrels. This means that a lot of hard work and time goes into making each bottle of Old Forester bourbon as much of it will be lost over time due to evaporation.

Unlike other whiskeys that are aged for years at a time, Old Foresters are crafted using traditional methods with small batches aged for just four years or less before being bottled – so almost all of that remains intact in every bottle you purchase! That means you get all those amazing flavors without sacrificing quality or quantity like some other brands do when they age their spirits for longer periods of time.

The next time you pick up your favorite bottle of Old Forester bourbon, take note of how smooth and flavorful it is despte its relatively short aging process – all thanks to our friends in heaven and their generous gift: The Angels' Share!

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What Companies Does Old Forester Own?

Old Forester is owed by Brown-Forman, a global spirits company founded in 1870 by Garvin Brown and George Forman. In addition to Old Forester, Brown-Forman's portfolio of brands includes some of the most recognizable names in the spirits industry, such as Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, Finlandia , Herradura Tequila, and Mist Canadian Whisky. Brown-Forman also produces and distributes wines through its Fetzer Vineyards and Sonoma-Cutrer brands. Brown-Forman has operations in over 160 countries around the world, making it one of the largest spirits companies in the world.

Understanding the Meaning of Angel Share Bourbon

Angel share bourbon is a type of distilled spirit that has been aged in oak barrels for a predetermined length of time. During the aging process, a small amount of the liquid evaporates from the barrel, which is known as the “Angels' Share”. This evaporation occurs naturally at a slow rate and can range from 1-2% per year or even higher in warmer climates. The angels' share varies from barrel to barrel and is said to be an offering to the angels in Heaven for a really great bourbon. The resulting product is usually smooth and full-bodied with intense flavor notes such as vanilla, caramel, toasted oak, and spice. Angel share bourbons are often sought out by connoisseurs due to their unique flavor profile and complexity.

Who Is the Owner of Old Forester Brand?

The Old Forester brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is owned by the Brown–Forman Corporation. The Brown–Forman Corporation is a publicly traded American-owned spirits and company based in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, the company produces a variety of drinks including Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Finlandia Vodka, Canadian Mist, Herradura Tequila, Chambord and Sonoma-Cutrer Wines. It has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1923 and has over 4,000 employees located across five continents.

The Origin of the Name Old Forester

Old Forester is named after Dr. William Forrester, a prominent Kentucky doctor and bourbon enthusiast. As the first bourbon to be sold exclusively in sealed glass bottles, George Garvin Brown believed that signing each bottle with his personal guarantee of quality was the best way to ensure consistency and authenticity. The name Old Forester was chosen to honor Dr. Forrester's passion for fine whiskey, and to recognize him as one of the earliest advocates of bottled bourbon. Today, many people cosider Old Forester to be the standard for quality in American whiskey.

The Meaning Behind the Name Angel's Share

The term “Angel's Share” comes from the belief that a portion of the whiskey evaporates each year during aging, and is taken by the angels. This process is known as “the angels' share” because it is believed that the angels are taking their own share of the whiskey. This volume loss can be btween 2-5% per year per barrel, and this adds up quickly over time. The name also serves as a reminder that part of our whiskey will never be enjoyed by us, but taken by the angels instead.

The Aroma of Angels Share

Angels Share has a warm, inviting aroma. Its top notes of oil, oak absolute, cinnamon essence and Tonka bean absolute give it a light sweetness. As the scent develops, sandalwood and praline notes come to the fore, while the base of vanilla creates an indulgent finish. Overall, Angels Share is a luxurious blend of woody and sweet scents that linger on the skin.


The “Angels' Share” is an important part of the Old Forester whiskey-making process. This slow evaporation of distilled spirits aging inside each barrel gives the bourbon its unique flavor and character. While the exact amount lost varies from barrel to barrel, it's estimated that about 2-4% of the whiskey is lost each year due to evaporation, making it a precious commodity. With only 14,400 bottles released this year, Old Forester's Birthday Bourbon is a rare find and a must-have for any whiskey connoisseur. So if you have the chance to get your hands on one of these bottles, don't miss out!

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.