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Old Forrester Rum and The Voyage of Buck
New Review
The Voyage of Buck
29-31 William St,
Edinburgh,
EH3 7NF
0131 225 5748

No this is not some Tolkienesque fantasy about an ancient axe man scything through hordes of orcs as he seeks redemption through saving yonder fair maiden. It’s actually about a rather special bourbon served in one of Edinburgh’s more interesting new drinking dens; Old Forester being the bourbon and the Voyage of Buck being the bar.

I’ll save a full review of the bar for another day. Suffice to say it’s a very welcome addition to the West End, with great drinks, friendly staff and an undoubted buzz. However our visit to this new bar on William Street had a very specific purpose: to sample Old Forester, both on its own as a sipping bourbon and as the base spirit in a Thanksgiving inspired cocktail created by the young Bucks.  

Whilst I certainly look forward to tasting new entrants to the spirits market, I find it very satisfying to be introduced to a new drink that’s actually been around for a long time and has a notable history. Old Forester certainly fits the bill. As well as being the first bourbon to be sold in sealed glass bottles, to preserve its quality in the days of dodgy, and deadly, counterfeits, it is also the only bourbon continuously distilled and marketed by the founding family before, during and after Prohibition.

 In a remarkable piece of persuasion the Brown family were able to keep distilling Old Forester during Prohibition for medicinal reasons. I’m not sure you’d get that past the Surgeon General these days! 

The whisky (note, without an "e”) itself is an ideal after dinner bourbon. Made with a mash of corn, rye and malted barley there is the unmistakeable initial hit of sweet caramel and vanilla you come to expect from a bourbon. However the rye does spice it up with a hint of black pepper, a touch of citrus and a pleasing dryness on the finish. 

It is also a good base for a cocktail as the ginger and sage highball testifies. A warming, yet refreshing, combination of Old Forester and honey & sage syrup shaken over ice, topped with Fevertree Ginger Ale and garnished with sage and a dehydrated lemon wheel, this is another great example of a whisky cocktail that even non whisky lovers should enjoy. 

For Buck’s sake, get along to William Street and try the bourbon! (M. Earl)

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