Today, we commemorate 107 years since the death of George Garvin Brown, the man behind Old Forester and the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Brown, with Old Forester, brought about the standardization of quality at a time when whiskey was classified as ‘medicine’ and there was no regulation on what could be added to whiskey to increase profits. This ranged from dilution to the use of unsafe additives for color or flavor, not to mention hygiene issues that we won’t delve into here 🤭. Essentially, there was no oversight, and anyone could sell whatever they wanted. George worked as a pharmaceutical salesman and personally heard complaints about the poor quality, prompting him to start his own company dedicated to quality assurance.

He was the first to place a seal on the bottle cap and sign it with “Old Brown” until he realized a ‘medical’ endorsement was needed. He asked the town doctor, Mr. Forrester, to sign off, and thus, Old Forester was born!

This time, I’ve included a selection of old advertisements for the brand. It’s truly mesmerizing to see the evolution of humanity through whiskey ads!

Today, Brown-Forman is one of the largest companies, also responsible for various products from Rachel Barrie 🥃. For those wanting details on Old Forester expressions, Michael published a wonderful post this week.


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