photo credit: BeamSuntory.com


Proof: 80
Age: 3 years old
Distillery: Jim Beam
Master Distiller: Fred Noe
Season: Doomsday

3.9/5 - (251 votes)

I wont remember writing this article. Old Crow bourbon has that effect. Last night, I ran out of my old standby, Elijah Craig 12 Year Old, and I didn’t want to tap into my Booker’s reserve, so I made a bar run.

On a budget, I ordered the cheapest pour the bartender could offer. Old Crow. I am of the opinion that there are no “bad” bourbons, just some that aren’t as good as others. Besides, Old Cow bears the namesake of a bourbon legend, Dr. James C. Crow, the 19th Century legend responsible for introducing the sour mash process to bourbon making. Surely, the spirit of Doc Crow wouldn’t allow his name to be sullied by a substandard bourbon…right?

Old Crow bourbon brands are owned by Jim Beam, and is one of three bourbons nicknamed “The Olds” (the other two are Old Overholt, and Old Grand-Dad). Figuring such a venerable lineup wouldn’t include rot gut in the lineup, my decision to buy the $2.99 shot of Old Crow was bolstered.

My last vote of confidence came from the fact that The Old Crow brand is one of Kentucky’s earliest bourbons. If its been around for a while, must be pretty good, eh?


David Pickerell once said that “the lowest, bottom-shelf stuff being made today is better than the best whiskey made in 1947”. I’m sorry, but did Dave taste this? I needed some bourbon to get the job done, but when the treatment is worse than the sickness itself then I would rather not even bother. Such is the case with Old Crow.

Old Crow makes every other bottom shelf bourbon seem like it was graced by the hand of God. Old Crow is to bourbon what the Inquisition was to the Spanish.

You want tasting notes? How about tart battery acid with hints of kerosene, and the texture of broken glass. You like tar? You got tar. You like a finish reminiscent of a bad divorce? Have at it. Oh, and there’s cloves.

What dish would you pair Old Crow with? Bitterness and regret.


After a one shot I was drunker than five thousand Indians let loose in a rickhouse. I dont remember the age, gender, or race of the poor soul on the bar stool next to me. What I do remember was telling them my life story – sorrows and all – while sweat poured off my body.

I didn’t realize how drunk I was, however, until it was time to head to the bathroom.

Finally arriving at my destination a mere 25 feet away from my drinking chair, I struggled to stay on my feet at the urinal. I wasnt midstream before I realized this would be no ordinary potty break. This would be what is known in many low brow circles as a “threefer”, or the “triple threat”.

I had enjoyed a nice meal at Los Aztecas next door to The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville. I have a cast iron stomach. I have had the best and worst the world has to offer the digestive tract of a well-travelled Westerner. I wasn’t ready for what was to befall me that fateful night.

I wish to keep this website tactful, so I wont describe in detail the internal combustion that the combination of Old Crow and old Mexican food caused. Lets just say I had to do some laundry and emergency cleaning before the rest of the family got home.

Every bodily orifice – including tear ducts and sweat glands – unified in their attempt to expel Old Crow from my body.



There are some people out there that would describe me as a pejorative term for a woman’s genitals for not drinking Old Crow. There are some who say “hey drink what you like!’ There are others who encourage Old Crow consumption for those on a budget. I for one would like to see every barrel of Old Crow bourbon shipped to North Korea as a weapon of mass destruction. I give Old Crow bourbon an F (as in F**k).

How we grade bourbons.

No offense to Jim Beam, the spirit of Dr. James Crow, or anyone involved in the production of the stuff. Every bourbon has its place. When it comes to Old Crow, that place is in mouths of my enemies.