1970s Old Crow Review

1970s Old Crow Review

In the 1970s Old Crow was owned by the now defunct National Distillers who also owned a bunch of other bourbon brands like Old Grand-Dad, Bourbon deLuxe, Sunny Brook, Old Taylor and whole lot more. National Distillers sold to Jim Beam in 1987 and all ND distilleries were closed and operations moved to the Jim Beam distillery. Some brands were slowly phased out, like Bourbon deLuxe, but others, like Old Crow and Old Grand-Dad, Beam has continued to produce on through the present.

However, if you taste the brands side-by-side there is a stark difference between the two. The current Jim Beam Old Crow is nothing more than young Jim Beam White. The National Distillers Old Crow used a different mashbill, yeast strain, techniques, stills and aged them in different warehouses. On a side-by-side the ND Old Crow is much richer and the rye spice is much more noticeable. Current Old Crow is “meh” at best, but 1970s Old Crow is something worth making a bit more noise about.

This review is part of a group review I coordinated and you should check out everyone else’s take on this whiskey by checking out their blogs below. If they’re not live when you click, just check back later 🙂

Sku’s Recent Eats
The Coopered Tot
Axis of Whisky
It’s Just The Booze Dancing
Bourbon and Banter

1970s Old Crow Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: National Distillers
Cask: New charred oak
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%

Price: NA – Dusty

1970s Old Crow Review

Worn woolen driver’s cap

Corn, vanilla, brûlée, oak, toffee, dark fruit, spice and a bit of musty “old bottle effect” all come barreling through, but there is a nice harmony to the aroma. I’m enjoying this quite a bit.

Oak, dark fruit, vanilla, grains, herbal spice and caramel heavy dark sweets roll across the palate followed by lighter notes of citrus peel and pumpkin seeds at the end. Like the nose I’m enjoying what’s happening here.

Long and oaky with bits of spice, vanilla, caramel and a spicy herbalness.

Decently balanced, medium body and a warm but stern feel. Like a military grandpa who is just warm enough to let you know he doesn’t dislike you.

1970s Old Crow isn’t amazing blow-your-socks-off bourbon, but it’s good – though compared to the current Old Crow it’s mind meltingly good. Current Old Crow is weak and watery stuff where as this has a significantly richer and fuller character. There is a decent complexity to the nose, palate and finish that keeps it interesting even on your second glass. It’s fair to say I dig the 1970s Old Crow quite a bit.

SCORE: 86/100

1970s Old Crow Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 87
  • Finish - 86
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 86

1970s Old Crow Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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9 Responses to 1970s Old Crow Review

    • Ha, I saw that when I read your review. You’re absolutely welcome and thank you for joining the review. Loved reading the history you put together and your notes. Also, I have a bottle of that 1980s Old Crow Allan’s holding in that shot. Found it sitting right next to the 70’s bottle we just tried. Happy to send you sample of that one as well when you’re ready to do your 86 & BiB reviews.

  1. have a ? I have a 1 to 1 1/2 gal Old Crow whiskey container( jug ) from the 1950’s with the label (picture of a town) on it and a tax stamp 1/4 gal Maryland in a metal standing cradle with a cork lid. Is there any value to this? Getting ready to put it out yard sale or flea market and wondered because of the age if I should or shouldn’t keep it.

    • Hey Tom,

      If there’s no 1950s whiskey inside of it then it’s not worth much more than what you could get for it at a flea market, yard sale or ebay. Collectors only want the whiskey inside, but it sounds like a cool bottle so you should be able to get a few bucks out of it from a craft person.


  2. The only Old Crow I’ve ever rated was a Bottled In Bond version I picked up in the late 90s in an obscure out-of-the-way Japanese liquor store in Hiroshima. I remember them having three bottles left, which had obviously been there for a while, and taking a chance on one because it was BIB. I seem to recall the label being black and the bottle being rather squat compared to the JB bottle. Bloody Hell, it was good! Absolutely no comparison with the travesty that is Old Crow now (or then in most places). I was down there like a shot the next day to pick up the remaining two bottles.Now sadly long gone of course and merely a vague memory since I lost my tasting notes when the hard-drive exploded!

    • Oh man, I’m sorry to hear about that Martin, but at least you had the chance to try that old Old Crow BiB. I’ve been looking for one of those for a long time. You’re a lucky man to have gotten to try it. Cheers Martin!

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