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Old Grand-dad Bourbon (Bottled In Bond) Review

Old Grand-Dad is a high rye bourbon offered in a couple of different proof points. This one is their 100 proof Bottled-in-Bond bourbon whiskey. The “Granddad” reference in the name is homage to Basil Hayden, a very recognizable name in bourbon and also the name of another product I’ve reviewed on this site. Basil Hayden was known for using a higher percentage of rye grain in the mashbill (whiskey grain recipe) for his bourbon whiskey. His grandson, Raymond Hayden, started Old Grand-Dad using his grandfather’s high rye recipe. While we don’t know the exact percentage of rye in the mashbill, I’m guessing it’s pushing somewhere around 30%. If you know, please share.

As a side note, we’ve talked about the term “bottled in bond” before. It essentially refers to a single distillery bourbon whiskey that was distilled all in one single season (vs. pulling from various barrels distilled and aged at different times), and aged in a federally bonded warehouse for a minimum of 4 years. It’s also offered at 100 proof, or 50% alcohol.

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon (Bottled in Bond), 50% abv (100Proof), $19

Color: Medium Amber with Orange tones

Nose: Sweet corn and spicy rye yield to candied orange peel, cinnamon, honeysuckle, maple syrup, and kiln dried wood. There’s an alcohol punch you have to dodge but with time this one opens up nicely.

Palate: Big flavors of brown sugar, orange jellybeans, and loads of woody and peppery spices. The corn and rye is always present and welcoming. A healthy dose of barrel char emerges from mid palate.

Finish: This long finish is leaning towards the char, but mint, black pepper, and corny sweetness give relief.

Overall: This is a hell of a bourbon, and a continuation of the “parade of value” that I’ve been consciously trying to showcase on the site. It’s a marvelous thing when you can find such fantastic whiskey at this price. Old Grand-Dad BIB is a big whiskey with a spicy character, excellent and mature grain quality, and healthy doses of sweetness and wood to add complexity. All of that for around $20 or less.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: (8.7 Very Good/Excellent)

55 Comments

  1. Ronald Rene says:

    I’ve been drinking Old Grand Dad bourbon for about 40 years and
    still have not found any other bourbon that come close to matching the flavor.

  2. Dawn says:

    Jason and all, We’ve come full circle in a year or so, through around twenty-five bottles of the under $20 and under $40/per bottle stuff. Now it’s back to our old familiar: Old Grand-Dad BIB. This is probably still our best combo Bourbon we’ve found: good enough to keep on hand at all times for sipping (straight, with water, or ice on occasion), but its main purpose is forming the nearest perfect core for mixing cocktails. Feels like home, like that pair of perfect slippers.

  3. Keith says:

    Been searching for a moderately priced bourbon that doesn’t taste like charcoal starter…..found your review and you convinced me that this is worth a try…..I live just down the road from the Beam distillery here in Kentucky so this stuff is pretty cheap around here….just ran to Kroger at lunch and got a bottle for $16….I’ll crack it open tonight. I have a bottle of Basil Hayden’s that I will taste test against for comparison. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  4. bernie collins says:

    why is old grand dad so hard to find in new york area ?????

  5. JB says:

    Bernie – Astor has the Old Grand Dad BIB in stock regularly in liter bottles. The “basic” 80 proof version is all over the place.

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  1. [...] and low-rye bourbons, I preferred the high-rye (Old Grand-dad). There’s a great review here on Sour Mash Manifesto, and I’ll add my observations: it was a very pleasant compromise between the other two. The [...]