Old Grand Dad 114
Old Grand Dad 114 is one of those bourbons that will really surprise you. Looking at it on the shelf you probably have passed over it to get something that seems more mainstream and up to your level of sophistication. Not this guy though! I took a leap of faith and picked up a bottle of this bourbon to give it whirl. I was actually incredibly surprised at what I found inside.
This bourbon is named after an infamous distiller Mr. Basil Hayden. He is in fact the Old Grand Dad. He was lovingly given this name, and the namesake to this particular bourbon by his grandson. A third generation distiller Colonel R.B. Hayden. I guess back in the day you must have been forced into distilling as soon as you became Colonel or something. We’ve got Colonel Blanton, E.H. Taylor, and now Hayden. Pretty awesome coincidence if you ask me. Maybe after drinking all that bourbon throughout the wars they became such experts that they started distilling it?
This bourbon is produced by the good folks at Jim Beam. It’s a higher rye content bourbon and it also comes in 3 different proofs. You have the original 80 proof, the Bottled in Bond 100 proof and the 114 proof that we’re reviewing here today. I’ve never seen the 100 proof Bottled in Bond before, but I’d love to track some down sometime. If you get a chance go check out a cool website that was created to honor these ‘Old Whiskies’. It gives some of the background info about the whiskies and even some great recipes utilizing each one.
The bottle of this Old Grand Dad 114 is fairly unique. It’s even different from the other proof bottles. Both the 80 & 100 proof are tall and slender bottles. This one is short and fatter. It also has a big ole 114 on the front. I’m sure that acts as a cautionary tale to some. It’s probably smart to let them know up front that the bottle contains 114 proof bourbon! I love the bottle, especially the big knob at the top. It reminds me of the Elijah Craig bottle with the big spout and handle to uncork the bourbon.
One cool fact that I like to point out is that one of my favorite bands Lynyrd Skynyrd references Old Grand Dad in their song “Whiskey Rock a Roller”. So that right there is enough to make it a favorite of mine! Let’s dive into the review though and see what it’s all about.
First thing I get is that big dose of rye up front. Followed with some nice fruity notes hitting on the back side of the nose. There are the obvious notes of caramel and vanilla. I love that big hit of rye up front though. It’s almost like s spicy orange note. Very unique and it’s pretty impressive.
Taking a swirl around I picked up on that spicy rye up front. It has a strong sweetness to wash it down though. Similar to an Orange Fanta. That strong sweet citrusy note on the backend mellows out the rye. This Old Grand Dad 114 is very similar from the nose to the palate that’s for sure. I love the distinct crispness on the palate too. It’s very refreshing. That citrus hits quick and then dissipates and leaves you with the rye you began with.
Even though the citrus hits quick the finish is fairly long. It has a nice even mouth coating to it. That spice leaves a nice lingering impression. It’s fairly warm, especially if you drink it neat. However, this would be very tasty chilled with some ice and add a bit of citrus to it to give that extra refreshing flavor.
I was actually really impressed with this Old Grand Dad 114. For around $25 here it’s well worth the buy. It’s not going to replace my Four Roses Single Barrel anytime soon, but it’s still a darn good whiskey at a very reasonable price. So if you’re looking to find something new, you might have to look towards the bottle shelf for this bourbon, but I would highly recommend it. Easily a 9/10 for me.