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The Old Grand-dad review

The Old Grand-dad review

Company: Jim Beam
Vol: 40%
Age: NAS
Classification:  Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
Breakdown: 63% corn, 27% rye, 10% malted barley
Price: c. £25-28


Old Grandad is distilled at Jim Beam in Clermont, Kentucky, USA. The chap on the front of the bottle is Basil Hayden Snr whose grandson Raymond B Hayden created the brand. Basil Hayden is of course another brand of bourbon in its own right. The Hayden family has been distilling whiskey since 1840 but according to the Beam Suntory website (owners of Jim Beam) this particular bourbon has been around since 1882 (other sources claim it was available since 1840) and is currently in the top 10 of best-selling standard bourbons.

During prohibition it was produced by the American Medicinal Spirits Co and was allowed to be sold as a medicine. The 40% ABV offering only became available in 2013. As only water can be added to bourbon that is exactly what Jim Beam did and diluted the original 43% ABV version. We wonder how many additional bottles that created. If you can still find a 43% ABV then we suggest you grab it while you can.

The Review

For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass


What we got - Very sweet, caramel, syrup, Bakewell tart, marzipan

What they say we should get - Pecans, baked bread, maple syrup, caramel and tobacco


What we got - Peppery, spicy (huge contrast with the nose)

What they say we should get - Full and buttery with a refined but deep hit of rye. Black cherries and pepper, that same sweet baked bread note as on the nose


What we got - Short, easy on the finish

What they say we should get - Cherry jam and marmalade with a cayenne pepper heat


Stark contrast between the nosing and the palate. Very sweet and cake like on the smell, but the palate delivers a peppery, spicy offering. Complex on the nose and we are missing quite a lot on what other (more expert) reviews are finding. No baked bread or marmalade for us. Not particularly exceptional, but as an introduction to a different bourbon that you won’t find in UK supermarkets, it is well worth a purchase.  


5 out of 10 - Mav

5 out of 10 – Mr. Pie

Bourbon hunting in ... UK supermarkets

Bourbon hunting in ... UK supermarkets

The Knob Creek Rye review

The Knob Creek Rye review