Whiskey & Vinyl: Old Forester 1910 and Blackberry Smoke

Whiskey & Vinyl Old Forester 1910 and Blackberry Smoke

(photos by Outsider)

This week’s Whiskey & Vinyl is all about smoke and fire. Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky has a “fiery” origin story from the year 1910 that resulted in the juice being double barreled, which Old Forester mimics today with this current expression. And, of course, Blackberry Smoke has been burning up the highway for more than 20 years with its rocking blend of country and blues.

Let’s pour a glass of Old Forester 1910 while we spin Blackberry Smoke’s 2015 album, Holding All the Roses. Stick around for the highlights.

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky

The nose on Old Forester 1910 opens with light oak, followed by hints of sweet bananas and brown sugar. The first sip follows suit—more banana and brown sugar à la bananas foster, but with a generous note of sweet cherry, followed by graham cracker and warm caramel.

The medium-long finish reveals sweet oak char (from the double barreling, presumably) and hints of pepper and tobacco. 1910 makes a tasty evening sipper, full of warm flavors—especially the wickedly delightful cherry. It’s not overly charred from the double barrelling, but does have a slight peppery kick and just a touch of tobacco. Fantastically delicious.

1910 Old Fine Whisky stands just “fine” on its own. In fact, it’s the best sipper in Old Forester’s Whiskey Row Series (1870, 1897, and 1920), trumping the slightly more expensive 1920. Let’s spin some Smoke with the next sip.

Blackberry Smoke: Holding All the Roses

  • Band: Blackberry Smoke
  • Members: Charlie Starr (lead vocals/guitar), Paul Jackson (guitar/vocals), Richard Turner (bass/vocals), Brandon Still (keyboards) and Brit Turner (drums)
  • Album: Holding All the Roses
  • Year: 2015
  • Billboard Top Country Albums: No. 1

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And for the past 20-plus years, Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke has been heating up concert venues across the country with its rowdy melding of country, blues, and Southern rock. Along they way, they’ve released seven studio albums, two live albums, and a handful of EPs. My favorite? 2015’s Holding All the Roses, which also happens to be the band’s first chart-topping album.

The 12-song set is brimming with riff-oriented bangers “Let Me Help You (Find the Door)” and the title track. But the album really starts catching fire when the Southern rockers’ keen melodic sensibilities shine through on tracks like “Living in the Song” and “Lay It All on Me,” which is popping with ivory and steel.

The boys slow it down with the ethereal ballad “Woman on the Moon,” before capping the album with the funky rocker “Fire in the Hole.” Coupling frontman Charlie Starr’s infectiously authentic vocals (he also wrote every song) with the musical prowess of the band, Holding All the Roses will make you believe that ’70s Southern rock is alive and well in the 21st century.