Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Old Overholt Bonded Straight Rye Whiskey
- 100 Proof
I was just on vacation in Oregon, and we spent our first night in Portland city limits. Actually, we were in a hotel on an island on the river, and there was one liquor store within walking distance. Of course, we arrived on a Sunday, so I had to wait until my second day to make my first liquor store run. Unfortunately, the selection was just meh.
I had actually grabbed a rye from a local distillery, figuring even if it were bad, at least I was trying something local and regional. However, when I chose a bottle and carried it to the counter (I won't name names), the clerk looked at it and immediately informed me that it was terrible, while wearing one of the distillery's shirts, I might add.
So, I was left with the choice of grabbing something I know will be decent and enjoying it on vacation, or trying something that is local and not available back home, but may not be very good. wanting to make sure I enjoyed every second of my vacation, I went with the Old Overholt BIB Rye. In retrospect, I feel like I should have gone with a local distillery, but this bottle was gone within a few days in any event, so it couldn't have been all bad.
The nose carried that traditional cinnamon note from the rye. I also got a certain dark fruit note, and the closest I could pinpoint it was to a raisin flavor, though it wasn't quite. Perhaps raisin with plum. I also got a bit of dark chocolate on the nose, which was a welcome surprise. However, I also got a good amount of corn, a smell I've always associated with young bourbons, and that just didn't really do it for me.
On my first sip, my immediate thought was that this rye is a bit rough around the edges. By that I mean that the alcohol came through more than the proof should allow. It also had sharp, bitter notes of hot corn flavors (again, that young whiskey note) as well as a pine note that was not of the enjoyable variety.
I did get some of the raisin that I got on the nose, and I also got some anise. The cinnamon that was prevalent on the nose was not as strong in the flavor profile. I also got lots of caramel, which was certainly needed in this whiskey, but at times it turned to more of a burnt sugar note. That coincided with a bit of a char note that I noticed from time to time.
The finish was very cereal-like. It wasn't sweet and didn't have any lingering enjoyable flavors. Rather, it was corny and woody and didn't exactly have me yearning for that next sip.
As noted above, after the fact I feel like I probably should have just tried something local, and I regret my decision. But, in the moment, with my vacation just starting out and wanting to get something decent to enjoy over the next few days, I went with this. While, at this price point, I can't say that it disappointed, it also didn't do much for me either
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