The Old Grand-Dad BIB review
Company: Jim Beam
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Bottled in Bond, James Bond)
Breakdown: 63% corn, 27% rye, 10% malted barley
Price: c. £40
If Old Grand-Dad bourbon is good enough for James Bond, then it’s certainly good enough for the Bourbon Gents (even though he doesn’t normally wear a hat!). Ian Fleming writes in the pages of Live and Let Die that Old Grand-Dad is Mr Bond’s bourbon of choice when treating himself to an Old Fashioned after he has saved the world yet again from another villainous wretch. Talking of Bond, this is now our 3rd and final review of the Old Grand-Dad family collection and it’s the turn of the Bottled in Bond heavyweight.
For our full explanation of what the Bottled in Bond term refers to, we’ve recently written all about it in our Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond review
The Old Grand-Dad brand is a stalwart of American bourbon and seems to have an almost guaranteed shelf space in everyone’s home from Alabama to Utah. With almost 140 years of history behind you, we can certainly see why. The bottle shape is the same if not identical to that of Basil Hayden bourbon and its contents are basically an older and higher proof version of the duplicate mash bill.
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass.
What we got – Oak, caramel with layers of dark fruit in the background. A woody sweetness if that makes any sense at all and very pleasant. We found this to be a little punchier than your average bottled in bond bourbon and you can’t really get your nose all the way in the glass with this one
What they say we should get - Robust with corn, vanilla and spicy rye as well as floral notes and minty hints
What we got – Oak, caramel and mild pepper on the back end. The sugary sweetness picked up on the nose and palate is dumbed down with the influences of the high rye mash bill. Subtle rye flavours with an apple tartness
What they say we should get – Malty caramels, spices, especially clove, and a touch of oak
What we got – Nothing to not like about in the finish, quite lengthy with an additional subtle sweetness not found on the nose or palate.
What they say we should get – Spicy, fruity rye and hot leather
Spice, pepper, sweet fruit and oak!! One half of the Gents is in heaven (Mr Pie for those of you in any doubt). What is there not to like about Old Grand-Dad Bottled in Bond and high rye bourbons in general? Beam Suntory does very little with this brand in the UK and it is not the easiest bourbon to find on these shores.
Price wise Old Grand-Dad Bottled In Bond is as can be expected costing around double what it can be bought for in its homeland. Quite how our American friends are able to grab this from the bottom shelf (yep, that’s where it sits, we’re led to believe) for less than $25 is quite simply astonishing.
This guy might be an old timer, but he’s got a whole lot of love to give out to you bourbon drinking aficionados. Embrace the Old Grand-Dad Bottled In Bond, he will not let you down.
6 out of 10 - Mav
8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie