Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tales from the Bottom Shelf - Review of Old Grand Dad 114

The title of this post, “Tales from the Bottom Shelf” may be perceived as a negative connotation.  Trust me when I say that this is only referring to the spot that the liquor stores choose to place this hidden gem of the bourbon world.  In an age where some enthusiasts are only seeking the latest limited edition offering from one of the big boys, there are missed opportunities for great tasting from these same distilleries.

One such offering is the classic 114 proof sipper from Jim Beam – Old Grand Dad.  Since this bottle spends its life on the bottom shelf of almost every liquor store, it doesn’t get too much attention.  My first introduction to this beauty was in a cocktail paired with a cinnamon syrup, ginger and soda.  A fine cocktail but once I realized how great this was on its own, I quickly changed my ways.

There is a ton of flavor packed into to OGD 114.  Much like its brethren, the more mature Basil Hayden, the lower proof 100 edition and the 86 (or 80 depending on how old the bottle is) it presents in a deep amber color with nose of orange among the classic caramel notes.   My favorite way to drink bourbon is to find the sweet spot around 108 proof.  At 57% ABV, This can be a bit spicy.  I suggest letting your dram breath for a few minutes, take a sip and add a small piece of ice to further soften.  

The palate brings more orange with hints of fresh pepper, cinnamon, herbal notes of sage and mint with a classic vanilla tone.  Though it does not offer an age stamp, OGD 114 drinks like 4-year-old bourbon.  The hints of oak and deep color validate this assumption.  

My favorite part of this $24 bourbon is the finish.  Long, rich, delicious without a hint of bitterness.  Even at this proof, it is dangerously smooth and easy to drink.  One warning - don’t enjoy it too much – it will make you swear off those 80 proof “watered down” bourbons! 

Where to find OGD - Any liquor store....

Price - $19 - $30.00