Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon (80 Proof)

From the bottle, “Since 1882, the unique marriage of body and flavor in Old Grand-Dad whiskey has been the standard by which all others are judged. Discover the high rye content and legendary time-honored excellence of the distiller’s craft found in every bottle.

Old Grand-Dad is a brand of bourbon whiskey that has been in production since 1882. It was created by Raymond B. Hayden, a third-generation distiller, and named after his grandfather, Meredith Basil Hayden, Sr., who was a well-known distiller during his lifetime.

The Hayden family’s first commercial distillery was created in 1840, and the whiskey has been in production since that time despite several changes of ownership. In 1899, Old Grand-Dad was sold to the Wathen family, whose broad interests in the whiskey business later formed the American Medicinal Spirits Company and the foundations of National Distillers Group. During Prohibition, the company produced “medicinal whiskey” for sick, blind, and lame patients.

In 1954, National Distillers sold Old Grand-Dad to Schenley Industries. Schenley later merged with United Distillers in 1987, and then with Diageo in 1997. In 2014, Diageo sold its American whiskey brands to Beam Inc., which is now known as Beam Suntory.

Today, Old Grand-Dad is one of the oldest and most storied brands in bourbon. It is produced at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, and is available in a variety of expressions, including Old Grand-Dad 100 Proof, Old Grand-Dad 114 Proof, and Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond.

Bourbon Review: Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon
ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
Age: At least 4 Years
Mash Bill: 
63% Corn, 27% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Jim Beam Distillery
Clermont, KY (USA)

The Nose: The aroma is a bit light due to the lower ABV but there is some easily identifiable cinnamon and vanilla. A second pull from the glass sees a touch of caramel and green apples and a subtle nuance of oak.

The Taste: The initial sip is front-loaded with cinnamon along with Christmas inspired baking spices on the finish. A secondary sip sees some sour apples, oak, and a sweet caramel on the somewhat thin finish.

The Pairing: We paired our pour with El Güegüense (wha-when-say) from Foundation Cigar company. This Nicaraguan puro cigar features corojo tobacco from with a touch of criollo. It’s medium bodied on its own with a subtle sweetness and earthy components.

The pairing helps bring out some of the rye from the mash bill giving it an added component while also enhancing the cinnamon. Neither the cigar or bourbon over power the other making it an excellent pairing. While we never allow this portion of review to affect our final score it would add 2 points.

Conclusion: When I walk into the liquor store I almost never look on the bottom shelf where the cheap stuff is kept. I also almost never drink bourbon with lower that a 45% ABV. But with that being said, there are some inexpensive bourbons out there that are often overlooked. Sure, Old Grand-Dad won’t knock your socks off, and it won’t impress your friends. But it is a bourbon that should be marketed more because it is actually quite good for what it is and a viable option for when money is tight.

Score: 84
Price: $16.99 (750ml)

Previous Post Next Post