Last week I posted an article on Old Grand Dad lowering its entry-level proof to 80. Well today I’m doing a review on the high-end OGD and that is the 114 proof expression. Old Grand Dad is produced by Jim Beam and uses its ‘high rye mash bill’ which consists of around 27% rye as opposed to Beam’s standard bourbon mash bill of about 15% rye.
The Old Grand Dad brand was created by Raymond B. Hayden in honor of his grandfather Basil Hayden (who is pictured on the bottle). Today the Basil Hayden brand is also owned by Beam and uses the same ‘high rye mash bill’. OGD 114 is easy to distinguish from its other two expression because it is packaged in a much more toned down, elegant bottle than the standard bright orange that the bonded and 80 proof come in. Now on to the review.
Appearance: deep copper with slow moving legs
Nose: Some beautiful aromas coming off this one. Spicy rye and sweet vanilla is what I notice right away. Tamarind and citrus fruits are also present. Some floral notes are swirling around in there as well. The heat is definitely strutting its stuff but not as much as I would have assumed for 114 proof whiskey. After a little time some oak and leather notes begin to show up. You should definitely take your time with this one and allow it to show you all its complex layers. You won’t be disappointed.
Palate: On first entry there is subtle notes of vanilla and caramel. Then the bold rye takes over mid palate. Corn and peanuts are also there trying to make their presence felt over the powerful rye spiciness. The heat coming off the nose is misleading as this is hot and the ‘burn’ stays with you long after. The finish is long and warm and leaves hints of mint, rye and oak.
Overall: Big bold spicy flavors and high ABV what’s not to like? And the price is what makes this all the more attractive. Beam really has a gem here and one that not to many people are aware of. A little strong for a daily sipper but definitely one worth having around the house. If you’re in the market for a high-proof low-cost bottle of whiskey do yourself a favor a pick up a bottle.
Rating: 88/ * * * *