Proof: 114
Age: No Statement
Distillery: Old Grand-Dad Distillery, Jim Beam
Master Distiller: Fred Noe
Season: Any

4.4 (88.57%) 35 votes

Here is a little fun fact that you may not have known: the bust on the front of the bottle is of a distiller named Basil Hayden. Hayden passed his recipe down to his son who then passed it down to his son, who paid homage to his “Old Grand-Dad” with both the bourbon’s namesake and the portrait of Old Grand-Dad himself on the bottle.

One might also note that the author Charles Bukowski was a big fan, and frequently mentioned Old Grand-Dad in his stories. I am not suggesting that Old Grand-Dad is the reason for Bukowski’s success. But coincidence? I think not.

In keeping with tradition, today’s Old Grand-Dad is made with a 30 percent rye mash bill (just like Old Grand-Dad used to make! ) and comes in three proofs: 86 80, 101, and barrel proofed 114.

Look here – if you want some fancy, high-flying, hyped up concoction, look elsewhere. Old Grand-Dad, being the cantankerous old bastard that he is, has that dry disposition that hits the bitter part of your tongue and punches you in the back of the throat.

Old-Grand Dad 114 is dry, rye flavor country that may not be suitable for some whipper-snappers.


If you know me, you know I like high proof, high rye bourbons, so I couldn’t help but be a little biased towards a favorable review. That’s a disclaimer for those of you who leave reviews asking me what I’m smoking when I write these. (By the way, its usually a Cohiba).

Even though the proof is there, the nose is largely muted. There is a lemon zest that is markedly different from its lower proof siblings. That, combined with a nutty oak aroma becomes a beeswax scent. Old yellow flowers keep the nose light and bright.

Either I am De-sensitized, or there is virtually no burn from the first sip. A tingle, yes. But no burn. Usually the burn slows me down, so at 114 proof this could become a very incoherent tasting very quickly.

OGD 114 has a nice body that sticks to your palate in a way that gives you an opportunity to taste the more subtle flavors. And subtle they are: aside from a musty undertone there are hints of caramel, orange, and dark cherry. Cinnamon and all spice are to be expected and are definitely here.

Then there’s that rye. You don’t want to cough at the bar lest you appear a bourbon newbie, but OGD 114 will definitely have you clearing your throat. He’s a rough one to swallow.



There is a reason why Old Grand-Dad is one of the 10 top selling straight whiskeys. For the taste, the value, and the proof, I happily give this bourbon a B.

By the way, I enjoyed this one on a recent trip to Mac McGee Irish Pub. My bartender, Anton, was a real Irishman (legit accent and all) who knew his stuff and deserves a raise. Mac McGee Irish Pub has a 400 bottle long whiskey list (!) including some really hard to find ones.

I will be spending what will ultimately amount to a mortgage payment there. If you are in the Decatur area of Atlanta, let me know when and I will meet you there. First round is on me!

Check out how we grade bourbons.

2018-07-06T06:22:45+00:00May 22nd, 2018|B RATED BOURBONS, BOURBON REVIEW|9 Comments


  1. evanrose May 23, 2015 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Excellent review. As old grandad is the well a lot of places, I’ve had it quite often. I’ve noticed a chalky aftertaste that is a bit unpleasant, but not a deal breaker. Have you noticed this? Is there any of that in the 114?

  2. Great Scott July 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    – Consistently one of my Top 3 bourbons and always have a bottle at the bar.

  3. Brian Brochard July 10, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Old Grandad 114 is $26 for 750 ml by me! I think it deserves more than a B!
    I have found myself drinking many bourbons searching for the perfect one. I found Virginia Gentleman – distilled by Buffalo Trace & than redistilled in Virginia- inexpensive and a great mixing bourbon. I like high proof for sipping. George T Stagg, Stagg Jr. . When are you going to review some Buffalo Trace bourbons? Many names but one distiller. Tried Eagle Rare, Elmer T Lee. Looking forward to trying the rest!

  4. Ben August 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    This just became available in my state, and boy am I glad. Definitely in my top 5 for taste and value. The nose is vanilla, peanut brittle, straw and old oak (all the good smells from an old barn). Neat you get vanilla, dry roast peanuts and cinnamon. A great lingering flavor of cinnamon red hots on the finish. Believe it or not, it actually has a smoother finish than the OGD BIB. And you’re right, this one is thick and clingy, allowing you to easily pick apart the tasting notes. This is definitely one of my new favorites.

  5. Steve Pendergast November 22, 2016 at 1:26 am - Reply

    Don’t forget the BIB. All are great value. I’d go BIB, 114, and the rest after. Actually, at these prices, no need to buy anything less than those two.

  6. Luis Wells February 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I don’t want to be that old guy who only drinks one whiskey…but I’ll admit when I go too my cabinet I have to fight the urge to just grab OGD 114. Love the OGD! I can’t believe they’re discontinuing this brand. Is it because they want to use this juice in the higher priced Basil Hayden?

    • Luis Wells February 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      I should have said they’re discontinuing this expression, not this brand.

    • Demitrius February 9, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      I thought this was just a rumor and havent been able to nail anything down. Could you post any links you have that can give us some clarity as to whether or not OGD 114 is being discontinued?

  7. DJBeacon September 29, 2018 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Just picked up a bottle for $25 and really enjoying with a cube. Nice stuff with lots of flavor so I need to buy another bottle tomorrow.

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