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Review: Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad 114 is a high rye (recipe) bourbon that’s……well, the grand-dad to the 100 proof Bottled-In-Bond (BIB) version I reviewed a couple years ago. As I noted in that review, the “Granddad” pays homage to Basil Hayden. Mr. Hayden was well known for favoring more rye in his bourbon mashbill than was common (even today). While we don’t know the exact percentage of rye, it’s up there. The brand is owned, distilled and bottled by Beam.

Let me say before tucking in – it’s comforting to get the reviews flowing with something that is available to most, and a reasonable (sub $30) price point.

old-grand-dad-114-lOld Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon (Bottled in Bond), 57% abv (114 Proof), $28
Color: Deep Amber
Nose: This bourbon’s attitude is airy and effervescent even at full strength. Orange rind, burned sugars, honey, southern spearmint, touches of floral (orange blossom, honeysuckle) notes and grain (corn and dry rye). Pour and leave in the glass for a good 3-4 minutes. The initial alcohol blast quickly subsides and you can get to business.
Palate: Brief notes of honey, bitter orange, caramel and vanilla yield to warming spices (cinnamon, mint, white pepper). Barrel flavors and a bit of resiny grip lead to the finish.
Finish: Lingering finish of toasty oak, orange, and caramel sweetness.
Overall: OGD 114 is a very good bourbon and it’s different. It’s one of those whiskeys, like the 100, that you just don’t taste all the time. It’s NOT a heavy whiskey in terms of nose and flavor, but the proof nips in spots. Water is your friend, and it’s easily to dial this one into a comfort zone for you.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: (8.7 Very Good/Excellent)

23 Comments

  1. Joseph Allen says:

    Great to see another review, Jason. Whether you review one whiskey a year or 50, I appreciate what you do. Your family and your work SHOULD be the priorities in your life, and those who don’t understand that – well, I feel sorry for them. Thanks, as always, for your insights. Looking forward to the next review.

  2. Eric says:

    Wow, $28 is salty for the 114. Amazing how different prices are state to state. In Indiana it’s max $25 but many places at or under $20. Nice review and let’s hope this (basically) barrel proof offering stays on the mid shelf.

  3. Rock says:

    Glad to see a new review! I will check it out.

  4. Sam Komlenic says:

    Like the Phoenix from the ashes, Jason rises yet again! I hope your health is in balance and that the girls don’t wear you down too much…they’ll need you to haul them around for quite a while yet.

    Grand-Dad 114 was discontinued here in PA late last year. For those of you living in states with open commerce, that means that nowhere in the entire Keystone State can you buy a bottle of this. Our nannies at the PLCB are only looking out for our best interests, of course!

  5. rtr says:

    Great to have you back, Jason.

  6. Thanks for the review. After people sung praises for OGD114 on Straightbourbon.com, I tried this after tracking down a bottle. I enjoyed it, but it’s not one of my standard pours.

    If you get around to it, I wonder what your thoughts are on Johnny Drum Private Stock?

  7. John says:

    Thanks Jason! I’m a big fan of OGD BIB, but have yet to pick this variety up. I’ll make a point of it here in the next few days and am planning on proofing it down to 100 to compare with the BIB. It is my understanding that Basil Hayden’s is an older version of this bourbon bottled at 40%. Even though it’s (supposedly) older and more expensive, at that proof I don’t think it’s as good a bourbon as the BIB. have you ever made the comparison?

  8. Nick says:

    Great review! Solid bourbon here for sure. I must admit though that I normally cheap out and spring for the BIB 100. This OGD line has a flavor unto itself, that’s for sure.

  9. Kevin says:

    I was out looking for a bottle of the OGD 114 last week which I haven’t had the opportunity to taste yet. Ended up with a bottle of 1792 instead which is another Rye forward bourbon. I thought it was ok, the manager called his distributor for me and I should be able to pickup a bottle today after your review I’m looking forward to it.

    Jason I’m glad you mentioned the sub $30 price point there are some very good bourbons to drink and where most of my money is spent, Even Williams Single Barrel, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses Small Batch, Elijah Craig 12yr. They are all very good pours and when you factor in price I would say great pours, also they are readily available, wish that was the case for W.L. Weller 12yr, and Elmer T Lee.

  10. Bill O. says:

    In today’s hype-filled whiskey world, it’s good to have a no-nonsense source of information. Your reviews are news I can use, and I’m glad to see you’re posting again. Welcome back, Jason!

  11. Texas says:

    Welcome back, Jason. In these days and times of hyper-media and hyper-hype I almost hate to see positive reviews of some of the hidden favorites. Outside of Texas I understand Weller 12 is getting very hard to find, and I fear what will become of OGD 114. I guess time to stock up! And to think I used to not like this bourbon (re: my comments on OGD BIB). I must have gotten the odd bad bottle. BTW, OGD 114 make a KILLER Mint Julep following your recipe. The high rye and high proof just combine with the mint syrup in an awesome way!

  12. James says:

    I just got back from the beach and drank OGD 114 on the rocks all week. It was super refreshing although I normally have it neat. To me it’s one of the top 5 inexpensive bourbons out there. I love the OGD BIB also. Great review Jason!

  13. phillip says:

    I just wish I was able to ascertain all the aromas and flavors that Jason is able achieve. I enjoy good bourbons and am able to distinguish most of them apart from others but I just don’t have the discriminating taste buds & nose that Jason has. He has specified about 8 different aromas & 8 different flavors in this OGD 114. If I try real hard I am able to locate a few of them but no where near all those that Jason details. I guess I’m just envious of his tasting talents & abilities. I wish I were able to find all the flavors & aromas that he is able to find. Am I the only one that suffers from this malady or are there others of you that have this same handicap?

  14. Texas says:

    It is a gift some people have I think. Like some people gave super good eyesight or hearing. I get the orange definitely and the caramel and I get a nuttiness as well.

  15. Texas says:

    Just to clarify I don’t have that gift I can usually only detect three maybe four favors or aromas

  16. It’s really not a gift guys. Certainly the time it takes to develop can be longer or shorter for some, much like playing a sport or an instrument. It’s about repetition and developing some mastery. But it is absolutely something that can be learned. The best method I find is comparative between no more than 2-3 whiskeys. In this way the nuances of one whiskey, when compared directly to another, are more pronounced. Fruit flavors, green notes, milder spice notes – all become amplified when comparing and contrasting between two or three other whiskeys. From there it’s all about respectful diligence! ;)

    Perhaps this is the subject of a post.

  17. phillip says:

    Jason, Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, maybe there’s hope for me yet. I’m in my late 60′s so I hope my taste/aroma enhancement development comes sooner rather than later! If my wife asks why I’m sitting down to 2 or 3 glasses of Bourbon tonight I’ll just tell her that I’m running an experiment for Jason. I’m sure she will then be quite understanding of the situation.
    Yes, I think this subject matter would be a great topic for you to expound upon. Thanks again for all the expert reviews and advice you provide. I’m learned a great amount of knowledge about Bourbon and have saved large amounts of money by avoiding some/buying other bottles based on your reviews. I think I can speak for most of the viewers here at sourmashmanifesto that we sincerely appreciate, and respect, your reviews and posts. Please continue to do so.

  18. Greg says:

    To me, this is one of the value bourbons on the shelves today. Releases in 2012 of OGD114 were especially good to the point where we, as enthusiasts, where clearing out the shelves. A buddy of mine in PA said they had it on clearance not to long ago for $13. Even in my home state of VA, I can find it for low $20′s which is still a bargain.

  19. Jeffrey Hurd says:

    I’m a big fan of OGD 114. This is one of the best kept secrets out there and for 114 proof no other bourbon of similar proof can match it (Bookers, Bakers, WT Rare Breed). I have tried over 55 bourbons. Only Heaven Hill can match their mash bill for consistency with Evan Williams SB, Elijah Craig, 1783, and Fighting Cock. The complexity is right up there with George Dickel 12. Like previous comments mentioned ice/water is your best friend. Let the drink stand for 3-5 minutes and you will get a different flavor for the next 10-20 minutes. Just outstanding.

  20. Winthorpe III says:

    I welcomed this whiskey into my home after a wise friend recommended it, thinking I was being let in on a well-kept secret. Unfortunately, it’s the bottle I’m least likely to grab off the shelf. Neat, there’s too much burn; diluted, it lacks complexity or any of the distinct, American flavors found in other bourbons. Not bad, just not what I’m looking for in a whiskey.

  21. Clive says:

    OGD 114 reminded me of a light weight Ice Cream then that grain quality comes in back palate and Oozes loads of Caramel Sauce! Differently agree on the airy nose and less heavy like so many other bourbons. My 114 was Lot 1 and I was confused none of Bonded’s Orange Rock Candy flavor were there at all!! I wonder if 114 uses a different rye/yeast or it’s all simply the barrel selection?

  22. Storcke says:

    I also enjoy OGD BIB and 114, and I think Jason’s ratings are right on the mark. However, I would like to complain about Beam’s total destruction of the lower-shelf OGD. They discontinued the 86 proof, 6-year old and now all I can find is an 80-proof, 4-year old that I find absolutely undrinkable. It has traces of the distinctive OGD flavor that Jason mentions, but only traces. I hope the two higher expressions don’t meet similar fates in the future.

  23. DM66 says:

    Jason, have you ever had any of the OGD products from the days when it was distilled by National Distillers? Quite a difference. Too bad its not anymore.

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