I have a guest taster with me for this tasting. Matt Kohorst is a talented young musician who plays bass for the band Frederick the Younger. He is fairly new to Bourbon and loves to expand his knowledge and has agreed to do the tasting with me today. I am hoping that this will be of a mutual benefit to us both as he gets to expand his appreciation of Bourbon while I get a chance to express the opinions of a younger generation of Bourbon drinkers.
Old Grand Dad 114 is the premium expression of the Old Grand Dad line of Bourbons from Jim Beam. The brand is an old one dating from the 19th century. The Wathen family owned the brand at the beginning of the 20th century and it became part of the National Distillers portfolio during Prohibition. The 114 proof expression is a late 20th century expression that was barreled at barrel entry proof when National Distillers introduced it in the 1970s. It is a high rye Bourbon with a lot of taste.
Old Grand Dad 114
Nose: Mike: Citrus and vanilla with a hint of baking spices.
Matt: Citrus and baking spices – nutmeg with a hint caramel.
Taste: Mike: Very spicy with caramel and a hint of tobacco and fruit – citrus and apricot. Tasted with a dried cranberry makes it less spicy but brings out the fruit notes and caramel. Tasted with a pecan takes the spice down and brings out some oak and vanilla.
Matt: Very spicy – peppery with caramel. Tasted with a cranberry still has the pepper but citrus comes to the front with some green apple notes. Tasted with a pecan more pepper less sweet with some nutty flavors and leather.
Finish: Mike: Very nice dry oak and pepper spice. With the dried cranberry makes the finish very sweet and fruity with a hint of oak and pepper. With the pecan the finish is spicy and dry with oak and pepper spice.
Matt: Dry leather and oak with pepper spice. With the cranberry brings out the fruit – citrus and pepper. With the pecan dulls the pepper somewhat with more nutmeg, leathery and dry .
Notes: Goes very well with an Alec Bradley Tempus cigar that dulls the pepper and brings out the oak. This is great Bourbon to sip neat but reasonably priced and would also make a great cocktail – a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Matt loves the flavor. Very smooth for a high proof Bourbon with a nice warmth. Loves it.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach