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Old Grand Dad Bonded Bourbon, 50% ABV


It’s my personal observation that frequently these days, if I’m not talking about barrel proof bourbon then I’m talking Bottled in Bond bourbon. And it has been an oversight of mine that in discussing this golden age of BiB whiskey, I’ve never spent much time with one of the cornerstones of the bracket: OGD. While I personally favor the OGD 114, the Bonded is a more direct comparison to the Old Tub/EW BiB/JTS Brown cool kids club in price and classification. Also, OGD Bonded is $5 off on sale this month in NC. Shop smart, shop S-Mart, and so on.

Nose: Imagine an old barn or rickhouse that was getting demolished, and someone made a small campfire with some of the debris. That’s this. I was shocked how much oak and earth surfaces in what I’m guessing is 4-5 year old juice, and it’s accompanied by vanilla and the aroma of a bakery kitchen — sugar, caramelized fruit, cinnamon.

Palate: The mouthfeel was an unexpected delight and needs to be mentioned first; there’s an oily heaviness that reminds me of Islay scotches more than most bourbons. The flavors are impressive: heavy blasts of cinnamon and caramel do the heavy lifting, as that 27% Rye in the mashbill comes out swinging. The oak and vanilla in the nose are still here in complementary roles. But make no mistake, the rye spices are the leaders. It’s the dark twin of the light sweetness and balance I get from Old Tub.

Finish: Again like Old Tub, far longer and more complex than I’d expect from a bottle in the low $20’s. An earthy graininess strongly asserts itself in front of the continued oak and caramel, but it’s the rye spices that are still in the lead. Like the Old Tub, its finest strength is here.

Summary: I don’t know if I just got a good batch, but this bottle drank waaay closer to OGD 114 than I remember. I think I fell into the trap of ignoring an OG classic when Old Tub burst onto the scene last summer, but OGD Bonded has a ton going on in its Janus role to Old Tub. If you like Old Tub and EW BiB but are looking for something with a bit more fire in its belly, here it is. Overall, it’s another piece of evidence we live in the BiB Golden Age.


Image courtesy of Jon who also writes on Low Class & High Proof.


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