Old Grand Dad 114

Old Grand Dad 114                                                             Today another real old name in Bourbon, Old Grand Dad. OGD traces it’s roots to 1840! Many of you are familiar with the orange label, traditional, bottom shelf dwelling Old Grand Dad. This is not it!

OGD 114 comes in a corked bottle that is shorter than their regular stuff, by that I mean the 80 proof and 100 proof expressions. It has a black label and can be found just about anywhere they sell Bourbon. Usually goes between $20 to $25 and is, duh, 114 proof. We could not find an age statement on the bottle nor online.

On a side note, the picture on all OGD Bourbons is Basil Hayden, another legendary figure in Bourbon lore.

NOSE

Ron:  Great nose, I got the usual caramel, oak, and vanilla. Under that I could detect traces of citrus, leather and even a little chocolate.

Todd:   At 114 proof it was almost too hot to smell anything, about burnt my nose. With a little water, I too got the caramel and the oak. Also had secondary aromas of sweet leather, citrus and chocolate.

Funny thing,  while tasting, we both said chocolate at the same time.

TASTE

Ron:   Hot! Needs water, even hot then. Finally, after 2 cubes melted I got a very good sweet taste of caramel, oak, vanilla, spice and leather. Also got a hint of what reminded me of a praline.

Todd:   Wow! You have to be more of a man than me to drink this neat. I too let 2 cubes melt completely then added a little water. Having said that, once done I got a lot of flavors, including toffee, wood, and spice. It was also somewhat sweet and it seemed I could detect a trace of smokiness.

FINISH

Ron:  Long finish that has a citrus taste as well a a little musty.

Todd:  Nice finish with a touch of what I can only describe as a medicine like flavor.

OVERALL

Ron:  For the price, this is a must have.

Todd:   After a lot of water/ice. I found this to be a very engaging Bourbon.

Nose    4.5 out of 5

Taste    8 out of 10

Finish   4 out of 5

Total           16.5 out of 20 barrels

OGD 114 is a great value and a really good drink. Just remember to water it down a lot. Being 114 proof is even more of a deal because you are buying  less water.  Given it’s spicy nature and since it has such a high proof, we found 114 to be a good mixer as well.

Blanton’s Single Barrel

This afternoon we are tasting the grand daddy of single barrels, Blanton’s. This was one of the first if not the first mass produced single barrel Bourbon. It is definitely the most famous. They started their single barrel program back around 1984, way before the current craze for such a thing began.

It is readily available, costs around $55 and comes in a cool, ornate, almost egg shaped corked bottle. On top of the cork is a metal figurine of a jockey on a race horse.  There are 8 different ones depicting various stages of a horse race. Blanton’s weighs in at 93 proof, and on a side note was first made under the guidance of the legendary Elmer T Lee.

NOSE

Todd:  On breathing in the aroma of Blanton’s, my first thought was, lovely. I got caramel, vanilla and fruit. Maybe even a little coffee.

Ron:   I did not pick out the coffee but did get the rest. I also got a lot of honey and a little spice.

TASTE

Todd: Even neat Blanton’s is pretty smooth and not too hot. It tasted both sweet and spicy with a little bit of citrus.

Ron:   Very smooth and sweet even neat. Got tastes of leather and tobacco. Opens up a little with a small ice cube.

FINISH

Todd: The finish was decent with a slightly musty taste. I also got just a hint of mint.

Ron:  Blanton’s has a long slow satisfying finish with a touch of spice.

OVERALL

Todd:  A very, very satisfying drink. One that I always have in my cabinet, and one that I love to take out and have a snort. My only real complaint is that it doesn’t seem all too complex.

Ron:  Excellent Bourbon! Everyone should try it and even better to own a bottle. Enjoy neat or with a small cube or splash of water.

Nose     4.5 out of 5

Taste      9 out of 10

Finish     3.5 out of 5

Total            17 out of 20 Barrels

Well it doesn’t take a genius to see we really liked this stuff. The only thing holding back the score was a slight lack of complexity on the taste and finish. Seems like at $55 there should be a little more. That said, this is a wonderful drink, meant to stand alone. We are sure it would also make a great cocktail, but why?

It is smooth, flavorful and easy drinking. Adds just enough spice to make it interesting. Also makes a cool presentation with the bottle. Our recommendation, BUY!

Jefferson’s Very Small Batch

Ah, another beautiful afternoon in Indianapolis, and another day to sip some Bourbon. This day we are sipping Jefferson’s Very Small Batch. This is not to be confused with Very Old,  Collaboration, Ocean or Presidential,  seeing as how they all come in the same shaped corked bottle.  JVSB is their least expensive, even though it is not necessarily cheap. Normally around the $35 range, we have seen it on sale for as low as $25.

Pretty accessible, most liquor stores that we frequent stock it. It is bottled at 82.3 proof with no age statement on the bottle.

NOSE

Ron:   I got the normal nose of caramel and oak along with a little citrus. I also got  a little bit of ethanol, reminding me somewhat of tasting White Dog.

Todd:   I also got the caramel on the nose along with a woody/fruity aroma. With ice the nose had some oak. All of these were very faint. I did not get the ethanol.

Ron:  I agree with the faint statement, really had to concentrate to get these aromas.

TASTE

Ron:   On tasting, there was some caramel and spice up front, followed by some malt. A little hot for being only 82 proof. Better with some ice.

Todd:   I agree with Ron on the heat, and that it is better with some melted ice. I really didn’t get a lot of flavors from this. A touch of chocolate when drank neat that I lost with the ice. The ice really smoothed it out though and I would prefer drinking it that way.

FINISH

Ron:  Had a medium finish with a touch of the chocolate that Todd mentioned.

Todd:  I agree, medium finish with not much change for me, maybe a little sweetness on the tongue.

OVERALL

Ron:  Overall I found JVSB a balanced Bourbon that I would prefer over ice. Okay juice on sale, would pass at the normal price.

Very smooth with ice but just not a lot of flavor going on. Reminds me of Canadian whiskey, very smooth, but not a lot of taste. Having said that, I would, and have bought a bottle at the sale price.

Nose:    2.5 out of 5

Taste     6.5 out of 10

Finish    3 out of 5

Total           12 out of 20 barrels.

The score does not accurately tell how we feel about this Bourbon. At the sale price of $25, and with ice,  it really is a nice sipping drink. Lends itself good to a summer afternoon on the porch with cigars. At $35 there are just too many other bottles with more going on.

1792

We know, it has been a while since our last post. Summer is hard on us, lots of vacations and family’s getting together. Hopefully we are back on tasting at least once a week.

Today is 1792, what used to be called Ridgemont Reserve, not sure why they took that part off their name. 1792 comes in a somewhat elegant corked bottle at 93.7 proof. It is found in most liquor stores and sells between $20 to $24. Although we did see it once for $31.

NOSE

Todd:  I got a very complex nose even though I couldn’t nail down the exact aromas. A little spice, a little leather, a little wood, all with a musty nutty background.

Ron:  I got the usual caramel along with some oak, spice and some rye. I also picked up the nutty aroma that Todd spoke of. A somewhat complex nose.

TASTE

Todd:  After my first sip neat I could only think of one thing, Hot. Even after some ice had melted I still found it to be a little harsh. After a little more melting I was able to get some spicy rye notes as well as some kind of grain. Not real complex.

Ron:  Pretty warm neat, even with some ice it was a little rough around the edges. I did get a little caramel, as well as some fruit, and a little sweet oak on the tongue. I got more taste when consumed neat, once one ice cube was added, the taste was almost subdued.

FINISH

Todd:  Medium to long finish with not much change.

Ron:  Long finish neat, medium with ice.

OVERALL

Todd:  1792 is a decent bourbon at a decent price. Not very complex and somewhat rough. Better with ice. It’s boldness does make for a good traditional Bourbon cocktail.

Ron:  Overall I would try to drink 1792 neat but is a bit harsh. I added ice and it was not as complex.

Nose    4.5 out of 5

Taste    7.5 out of 10

Finish   3 out of 5

Total       15 out of 20 barrels

Well as you can see we weren’t bowled over by 1792. We were fired up by the nose, but not with the taste. Not real complex and a little hot. If you can find it at the low end of the price range it is not a bad buy. It would hold its own in a cocktail.