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I know, I know - this is getting monotonous! But it's not my fault that Canada Day and Independence Day are three days apart. So now I gotta do a bunch of American whiskeys. Well, it's a hard knock life.
Old Grand-Dad is one of the standard bourbon brands under Beam Global (which not too long ago came into the LCBO, I believe for the first time). So who exactly is "Old Grand-Dad"? Basil Hayden - who already has his own bourbon, the greedy bastard.
The distillery was established in 1882 by Hayden's grandson, Colonel R.B. Hayden - though the original distillery is now closed. During Prohibition, it continued to be distilled by the American Medicinal Spirits Co. and was permitted to be prescribed as medicine. Production now takes place in the Jim Beam Clermont and Boston distilleries.
The colour is a medium amber. On the nose, lots of caramel and vanilla (creme brûlée), with herbs such as mint and, interestingly, basil. Rye spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cumin. Lots of oak enveloping everything. A classic bourbon profile though not overly distinctive. At 40%, water does nothing but dilute the nose and palate.
The palate is underwhelming - some toffee, spice, dark fruits and something medicinal that I can't quite put my finger on (by the way, I wrote that note before I researched its medicinal past!)
The finish is more interesting with woodsmoke, fruits such as cherries and dates, and paprika right at the end. Perfectly drinkable bourbon, and would make a good mixer, but there's really not much going on. In my research (and by research I mean five minutes on the Interwebs) I found it always referenced at 43% ABV. Perhaps they bottle it at 40% for export to Canada? If anyone knows the answer, please share!