Best Bourbons | Bottled in Bond | James B. Beam Distilling Co | Review | The Olds

Every Old Grand-Dad Bourbon Reviewed [2021]

Feb 5, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon is made by Jim Beam Distillery, but it has a long history before Beam acquired it. In the mid-1800s, Raymond B. Hayden created the brand in honor of his grandfather Meredith Basil Hayden Sr. You may recognize that name because Basil Hayden is another brand in the Jim Beam portfolio. The Hayden family opened their first distillery in 1840. Old Grand-Dad was sold to the Wathen family in 1899 which later formed the Medicinal Spirits Company and was then the National Distillers Group. In 1987, Beam acquired National Distillers whiskey portfolio.

Starting in 2015, Jim Beam marketed Old Grand-Dad Bourbon and Old Overholt Rye as “The Olds.” Old Grand-Dad bourbon is offered in three expressions — 80 proof, 100 proof Bottled in Bond, and 114 proof. Old Grand-Dad is made with a mashbill of 63% corn, 27% rye, and 10% malted barley. It comes off the still at 127 proof and the barrel entry proof is 125.

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Which Old Grand-Dad Bourbon is the best?

The Best OGD Bourbon
88.6 Reviewer
0 0 votes
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86.2 Reviewer
0 0 votes
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82.8 Reviewer
0 0 votes
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Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon Review

Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon 114
OGD114Details
Off the Still127 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle114 Proof
ABV57%
Mashbill63% corn, 27% rye, and 10% malted barley
Distilled and AgedClermont, KY
AgeNAS
Suggested MSRP$30
DistilleryJim Beam Distillery
568 Happy Hollow Rd.
Clermont, KY 40110
ProsBalanced and Complex
Great Price
ConsJust Want More of Everything
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingSilver 89.2 out of 100 Points
InventoryStock

In 2017, bourbon lovers everywhere despaired as it was rumored Beam was discontinuing Old Grand-Dad 114. Thankfully that rumor proved to be false. Not related to its fortunate lack of demise, a design student offered a redesign of Old Grand-Dad. The 86 proof (now 80) redesign is meh but look at the 114 proof bottle and packaging. I would love to see a revamped 114 with more age and barrel proof as a premium offering.

Nose – 86 out of 100 Points

The aromas on the OGD 114 are the polar opposite of the 80 and 100 proof. The fruity sweetness is gone. In its place are more earthy notes like outdoorsy oak, leather, and rye toast. I do get some burnt caramel and dark chocolate fudge.

Taste – 88 out of 100 Points

That dark chocolate taffy is front and center. I do get faint hints of dark red fruit on the tongue, but they are swiftly overcome by bold rye spice, sweet cinnamon, and fresh leather. There’s also a blooming sweet spice to round out the palate.

Finish – 89 out of 100 Points

The finish lingers. The prominent players are oak, sweet cinnamon, and Szechuan pepper. That sweet spice on the palate starts in the throat and works its way up. That’s a wonderful finish.

Complexity – 90 out of 100 Points

This is my first go at OGD 114. I didn’t think it could improve on the Bonded, but it does. Even more complexity and balance — and balancing the bold flavors that show up is no small feat.

Value – 90 out of 100 Points

OGD 114 is a $30 bottle. How is that possible? How does it sit on the shelf? Let’s keep this between us.

Verdict – Silver 89.2 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon Review

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon
OGD114Details
Off the Still127 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle100 Proof
ABV50%
Mashbill63% corn, 27% rye, and 10% malted barley
Distilled and AgedClermont, KY
AgeNAS
Suggested MSRP$19.99 for 1 Liter
DistilleryJim Beam Distillery
568 Happy Hollow Rd.
Clermont, KY 40110
ProsValue Off the Charts
ConsMore Refinement
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingSilver 86.2 out of 100 Points
InventoryStock

Old Grand-Dad has a storied history and with a long history comes great vintage labels.

Nose – 85 out of 100 Points

The aromas I pick up are vanilla, sugary charred oak, and sweet cinnamon. There’s more depth in the OGD Bonded compared to the 80 proof. Simple but delicious aromas.

Taste – 86 out of 100 Points

Sweet black cherries pop on the mid-palate. The mouthfeel is also improved. It’s got a good chew to it. Some white pepper on the front palate and a tingly spice on the tongue. The back of the palate is smoky oak. It gets better as you put the puzzle pieces together.

Finish – 86 out of 100 Points

The finish sticks to your bones. It’s got a wonderful sweet and spicy flavor going on. It’s like a cherry Szechuan pepper glaze. With just hints of the oak and pepper.

Complexity – 86 out of 100 Points

OGD Bonded has depth, complexity, and balance. The complexity bleeds into the value so let’s jump in.

Value – 88 out of 100 Points

The value is phenomenal. I bought my 1 liter for $19.99. For the $3 extra bucks over the 80 proof, it’s a no contest. It reminds me of a less refined and rye-forward OWA. This should be a bunker staple if you like sweet and spicy bourbons.

Verdict – Silver 86.2 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon 80 Proof Review

Old Grand-Dad Bourbon 80 Proof

Old Grand-Dad 80 Proof
OGD114Details
Off the Still127 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle80 Proof
ABV40%
Mashbill63% corn, 27% rye, and 10% malted barley
Distilled and AgedClermont, KY
AgeNAS
Suggested MSRP$16.99
DistilleryJim Beam Distillery
568 Happy Hollow Rd.
Clermont, KY 40110
ProsEasy Drinker
ConsLacks Depth and Complexity
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingBronze 82.8 out of 100 Points
InventoryUnder $20 Steal

Old Grand-Dad 80 proof was previously 86 proof but was changed to 80 in 2013.

Nose – 85 out of 100 Points

The aromas are punchy for an 80 proofer. It’s basic though — vanilla, smoky oak, and a muted but syrupy root beer.

Taste – 84 out of 100 Points

The mouthfeel is thin. It’s sweet like a Cheerwine and maybe vanilla. The mid and back of the palate are smoky charred oak and white pepper.

Finish – 80 out of 100 Points

The finish is short with the charred smoky oak stepping forward and sweet cherry and vanilla playing a supporting role.

Complexity – 80 out of 100 Points

OGD 80 proof is not a complex bourbon, but it was enjoyable to sip on. It’s light and refreshing. This is a bourbon I’d take to the beach or lake. Or nurse with an ice ball on a hot summer.

Value – 85 out of 100 Points

My local store sells OGD 80 for $16.99. That’s a steal for what you’re getting. A lot of the bottle shelfers in the under $20 have rough edges. This is an easy drinker.

Verdict – Bronze 82.8 out of 100 Points

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Why Trust The Bourbon Bard?

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, Thrive Global and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys. He has also created single barrel stickers for Bourbon Pursuit and Total Wine.
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4 Comments

  1. Chad McKinnon

    I have had only the 100 proof, which is phenomenal. I consider it the best bourbon at the price point. Definitely plan to pick up the 114.

    Great review!

    Reply
    • Matty Sims

      Thanks Chad. The 114 as I mentioned is less sweet but still delicious. Let me know what you think.

      Reply
  2. Chad Sims

    nice review have you done one on Old Forester?

    Reply

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