Posts from the ‘Old Crow’ Category

Old Crow Bourbon Review

The Old Crow label is one of the most recognizable bourbon brands in the world, with constant music and movie references.  Interestingly enough, despite the bird on the logo, the brand itself is named after James Crow, a Scotsman who distilled in Kentucky in the early 19th century.  Nowadays, the brand is owned by the Beam Suntory giant, and is distilled at the James Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.  The bottle indicates that this juice is at least 3 years old, and it is bottled at 80 proof (40% abv).

On the nose, this is a pretty straight forward bourbon with a lot of corn, candy corn, caramel, and vanilla.  This is young and spry stuff, but not at all bad. The palate is a simple, sweet presentation of bourbon full of caramel and vanilla flavors.  Wood is hardly integrated, but that is to be expected.  The finish is short and sweet with caramel and a wee bit of sawdust.

On the whole, this is hardly an offensive bourbon.  It is noticeably young, which makes it a bit simple and straightforward, but I do not really find anything in this bourbon to be especially off-putting.  My biggest complaint is simply that the bourbon is too quick, which makes it a pleasant but uninteresting bourbon experience.  Jim Beam has a quality product here that just needs a little extra loving from the barrel.  My grade: C-.  Price: $10-15/750ml.  What is most appealing about this bourbon is the price point, and how good it really is for $12 a bottle.


Old Crow Reserve Bourbon Review

Old Crow ReserveToday, 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!