Today, I am reviewing Old Overholt Rye, one of the oldest whiskey brands in the U.S. According to the bottle, the company began in 1810 outside of Pittsburgh. Nowadays, Old Overholt is owned by and distilled at Jim Beam in Kentucky. Old Overholt is a straight rye whiskey, bottled at 80 proof (40% abv). There is no age statement on the bottle, but my guess is that Old Overholt is around 4 years old. I’ve had a number of requests for a review of Old Overholt, and a gentleman at the bar last week was telling me how it was his favorite American whiskey, inspiring me to grab a bottle of Old Overholt.
Old Overholt is a medium gold color. The nose reminds me a lot of other Jim Beam rye whiskeys I have tried (Jim Beam Yellow, Knob Creek Rye). There are notes of honey, eucalyptus, tea leaves, and some nutmeg. The nose is light and soft, but still nice and complex. The palate is light and herbal. That eucalyptus note is still there with some nice black tea. There is a light spiciness to the palate as well, like wood shavings or spiced nuts. The finish is medium-short, with a hearty dose of rye and nutmeg. There is a little bit of oak mixed in as well.
Overall, I am a fan of Old Overholt. It is a great, easy-drinking rye whiskey with enough complexity to make it a fun drink. It tastes good, and it stands well in most cocktails. Most importantly, Old Overholt is very reasonably priced. Even in Boston, Old Overholt is rarely over $20 a bottle. The value in this bottle is fantastic. My grade: C/C+. Price: $15-20/750ml. Old Overholt is a fine example of rye whiskey, a great introduction to the style at a great price.
p.s. This review is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. An attack like the bombing at the Boston Marathon is carried out in order to sever relationships. Whiskey (when enjoyed properly and responsibly) is about building relationships and enjoying life and the people who bring joy. Please join me in fighting injustice with love, relationships, and good whiskey. Let it ride!