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Old Grand Dad

An Old Man's Rye Smile

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@OJKReview by @OJK

18th Oct 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Although being a bourbon (thus made from at least 51% corn), Old Grand Dad is known for having a very high rye content, and that is immediately apparent on the nose. Deep notes of molten brown sugar and liquorice envelope your nose, and you can almost feel the tickle of jalapeno rye spice on your nostrils. Grounded aniseed and talcum powder waft through the air, slowly dissolving into a sweet grapefruit juice that runs underneath brown sugar and liquorice. A final note of worn leather completes this wonderfully complex nose. 2.0

Taste: A peculiar, almost vegetal quality to this light-bodied bourbon, with hints of broccoli and asparagus mixed in with your more typical shortbread and vanilla bourbon notes, while at the same time packing a very feathery rye-spice punch, perhaps even more of a playful rye slap. 2.0

Finish: A leathery intro to this more pronounced finish, with raspberry and vanilla waves swelling up behind it, before crashing onto the palate with a spicy pepper froth. These aren't however Pacific waves of great magnitude, more like pleasant ripples that one finds while walking the dog along a northern-european coastline. Equally picturesque, but perhaps not as breathtaking as some of its Pacific peers. 2.0

Balance: There is a sense that this Whiskey might be caught slightly between two worlds. It is neither a classically sumptuous Bourbon, nor is it a full-on, eye-watering, Rye-spice defibrillator. Yet while being neither, it is also a bit of both, and is thus a very intriguing fusion of a whiskey. Sometimes Bourbon doesn't need to be quite so indulgent, and sometimes Rye doesn't need to be such a heavy punch to the mouth. This is an all together softer approach to both, and benefits from a balanced marriage between each. I suppose this is a Grand-Dad that has gained a calm and subtle complexity in his later years, while nonetheless retaining a little sparkle in his faded yet unmistakeable rye smile. 2.5

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dbk commented

Lovely review as usual, @OJK. This one sounds quite interesting; I may have to look into it.

8 years ago 0

OJK commented

Thanks a lot @dbk! Definitely worth a look into, especially given the price (£23 here in the UK) - fantastic value for money.

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

For those who don't mind a non-settling "finish" but want to try some of the biggest flavors out there (with a big alcohol wallop), also try the Old Grand Dad 114. The three Old Grand Dad Bourbons, 86, 100, and 114 proof, are some of the best bargains for the money available.

8 years ago 0

OJK commented

@Victor: I've been wanting to try the 100 for a while, however in the inverse of the problem that you have with the Old Fitzgerald, it's impossible to find the other Old Grandad varieties here in the UK. I think a kentucky pilgrimage is going to be necessary in the not too distant future.

8 years ago 0

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