Today, I thought I would review a pretty good value bourbon from Jim Beam to mark the occasion of the Japanese beverage giant, Suntory Ltd., buying out Beam, Inc., earlier this week. This review is of Old Crow Reserve, an addition to the Jim Beam’s Old Crow lineup; it is a bit older and a bit higher proof than the standard Old Crow bourbon, but in a similar price range. Old Crow Reserve is 4 years old, and is bottled at 86 proof (43% abv).
On the nose, Old Crow Reserve is a soft, bready bourbon. There are notes of sourdough bread, rye bread, some caramel, and some wet oak. The palate is light-bodied and very drinkable, with a good balance of rye, corn, cinnamon sugar, caramel, and oak. The finish is short and sweet, with caramel, vanilla, and a splash of rye spice.
Overall, this bourbon is not going to knock any socks off with its depth or complexity, but it is exactly what you should expect in a 4 year-old bourbon. I detect no off-flavors that distort the whiskey or make it an unpleasant experience. That said, there is nothing that really drops my jaw to the floor about Old Crow Reserve, either. What I like most about this bourbon is that it is priced properly for its age and quality. This is a versatile bourbon that makes a fantastic cabinet staple and crowd-pleaser. My grade: C. Price: $15-20/750ml. I like this bourbon better than the standard Jim Beam White Label, in both value and overall quality. Let it ride!