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In the 1800's, bourbon whisky was sold in bulk to rectifiers, wholesalers, brokers and retailers. Barrels were branded with a distillery or "brand"name. Package stores/druggist bottled their own labels from bulk supplies. Unscrupulous rectifiers, jobbers and retailers would often tamper with the quality and integrity of the whisky in the barrel.
In 1870, George Garvin Brown, a young pharmaceuticals salesman in Louisille, Kentucky, saw the need for a consistently high-quality whisky that met medicinal standards. With $5,500 in saved and borrowed money, Brown and his half brother started J.T.S. Brown and Bros. They sold Old Forester Bourbon Whisky exclusively in sealed glass bottles to assure its quality. George Garvin Brown ensured the quality of his product with his handwritten guarantee on every bottle. Unfortunately, the inspiration and origin of the Old Forrester brand name died with George Garvin Brown. However, it is believed that George Garvin Brown's brand was named after one of Louisville's leading physicians, Dr. William Forrester (and presumably one of his best customers). you will notice that the originally Old Forester was spelled with two r's. When Dr Forrester retired, his endorsement would not longer have been valid. The name changed to reflect his change in status.
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