OLD GRAND-DAD 114 BOURBON
Age: No Statement
Distillery: Old Grand-Dad Distillery, Jim Beam
Master Distiller: Fred Noe
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.
OLD GRAND-DAD 114 BOURBON TASTING NOTES
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!