Old Forester is collaborating with King Ranch on a mesquite charcoal-filtered bourbon
Brown-Forman is preparing to release Old Forester King Ranch Edition, a collaboration with the south Texas ranch.
Described on the label as "a proprietary batch using heavily charred barrels filtered through King Ranch Mesquite Charcoal," it will be bottled at 105 proof* when it is released.
Using mesquite charcoal filtering is a unique choice, though not unheard of. While all Tennessee whiskeys use the Lincoln County process to filter through sugar maple charcoal, most Kentucky bourbons use chill filtration, or they choose to forego filtration altogether.
Wild Turkey's 86-proof Longbranch, a collaboration with the brand's Creative Director Matthew McConaughey, is filtered twice: first through American white oak charcoal, then through Texas mesquite charcoal. This gives the bourbon "notes of smoky sweetness," according to Wild Turkey. We'd expect a similar effect here, with the added benefit of nearly 20 proof points.
Old Forester King Ranch Edition celebrates the union of two iconic American brands. With over 300 years of combined history, each is woven into the nation's fabric. Old Forester, The First Bottled Bourbon, and King Ranch, The Birthplace of American Ranching!" This expression is a homage to the values that bring them together including hard work, ingenuity, and a lasting legacy.
– Label copy
The label features many of King Ranch's trademark design elements, including the King Ranch 'Running W' brand. The cork seal also features a silhouette of the state of Texas.
We don't yet know about pricing or distribution for this special-edition bourbon, but we'll be looking for an announcement in the coming months.
* Note: This article uses information from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Whiskey labels are approved by the TTB weeks or months ahead of their release and public announcement, so details about pricing and availability aren't available yet. Furthermore, any proof statements on the label may be placeholders and might change before the official release announcement. However, everything else on the label will appear as it does here, so this gives us a great early look at an upcoming release.