Old Grand-Dad Bonded Review

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Review

Old Grand-Dad Bonded is hands down one of the best deals in bourbon. I’m not wild about the new label design, but the bottle is obviously the Basil Hayden’s bottle – which I like. I like it because it’s a nice visual nod to what’s in the Basil Hayden’s bottle… older OGD.

Bonded bourbon, if you’re not familiar, means that this bourbon was created during one distillation season by one distillery. It also needs to be aged in a federally bonded warehouse for a minimum of 4 years and be bottled at 100 proof. Finally, the bottle’s label must also list the distillery it was created in and where it was bottled at (if different than the distillery). I wish more of the bonded rules bled into, and were enforced on, non-bonded whiskey; giving us more transparency into the whiskey on our shelves.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: 63% Corn, 27% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 4+ years
ABV: 50%

Price: $21

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Review

Polished copper

Dark sweets like caramel and butterscotch followed by waves of vanilla, caramelized fruit, spice, oak and raw grain. A touch of vegetal waxiness hides in the background.

Caramel, oak, spice and vanilla make the bulk of the flavor with light notes of white pepper and leather coming up towards the end. A bit muted compared to the nose, but still quite nice all-around.

Long finish of caramel, oak, spice, vanilla and a light bit of grain.

Good balance, med-full body and heavy, almost oily, feel to it that helps solidify it as a solid sipping bourbon.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded is among my favorite “daily drinkers” and it performed reasonably well in a recent OGD semi-blind tasting I held at my house. It’s reliably tasty and comparing this bottle of Old Grand-Dad Bonded to the previous version of OGD BiB I reviewed almost 2 years ago there is a noticeable difference – which is to be expected given the bonded rules. This current batch is a bit thicker, richer and fuller than the one from a few years ago and I’d say it’s an even better deal now than it was back then.

SCORE: 85/100

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 86
  • Palate - 85
  • Finish - 86
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 84


Old Grand-Dad Bonded is a damn good bourbon for a damn good price.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded 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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38 Responses to Old Grand-Dad Bonded Review

  1. Don’t like the new bottle and imitation cork. Too Tall and looks like a wine bottle.The new label is not classic.

    I have 1/2 an older bottle with the old bottle/label, and I think it has more nose and flavor. But, an open bottle will get better – or not. whereas a newly opened bottle needs time to go either way. The older OGD BiB is sweeter on the afterglow and both are pepper all over. The color match is perfect to naked eye. Both older and newer had thin, “rapid” legs.

    So, it’s cheap and doubtless there are worse at the sale price. And, I have three of the newer to dispose of now, gotten on sale. They are on hand for a break in flavor. The EW BiB is quite good, and considerably cheaper, but with less rye. I’d never pay retail for OGD anything.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Weirdly this bottle hasn’t found its way to many shelves in Maryland, so I quickly scored a bottle out in Cali for Turkey Day. Glad I did, it’s probably the perfect everyday drinker. Also, it’s interesting that the new label doesn’t say where OGD was actually distilled (JB), only where it was bottled.

  3. I love this bourbon. It was my first BIB. It goes for $21 around here, but every once in a while they run it for $17. I always pick up a bottle at that price.

  4. Thanks again for the recommendation. I would have not purchased this if I hadn’t read your review a few weeks back. Just got a bottle for $21. I think I may prefer this to WT101. It’d a tad sweeter. Can’t beat the value here.

    Also, I note the pic says 85, but your analysis averages 86.

  5. I love OGD, but the new bottle without the handle really turns me off. This old man has been drinking OGD for years and the new large bottle is too hard to handle. Then the changed the fifth to a hard to remove cork that anyone with arthritis has to use a tool to remove. I would have paid a price increase than to have them change the bottle design.

    Can’t beat the flavor of the burbon…but the bottles are crap !

      • I knew Bulleit had started getting their juice from Beam. For high rye I should’ve assumed it was OGD. I haven’t bought a bottle of Bulleit in a while and if it’s just OGD at 100 proof I probably won’t unless it’s aged longer than standard OGD…something to make it stand out from the OGD BIB which is $10-$15 less in my area.

  6. Josh, Do you know of a direct link that I can send OGD a Message and complain about the current situation with their bottles and the removal of the larger bottles ?

  7. Just picked up a bottle of this for the first time. I like it, but I think I prefer wild turkey 101 over it. The nose of the OGD100 is a little boring, it has great mouthfeel, and is quite full, but at some point I get a slight medicinal quality to it. Similar to Old Forester 86, but not quite as much. It’s tolerable, but by the end of the glass I was ready for something else. Its tough to beat the WT 101 at trader joes’ for $17.99.

  8. I’m not going to lie, even if OGD 100 were middle-of-the-road I’d still drink it because it makes me feel like a 1940s private eye.

    The fact that it’s NOT middle-of-the-road and is, in fact, delicious is just gravy.


    • Haha, that’s amazing. I’ve been reading a lot of Charles Bukowski lately and he writes about OGD from time to time and I live near some of his old haunts in Hollywood so every time I drink it lately I have very different thoughts from PI, but I know exactly what you’re saying. Cheers Will!

      • Well, there’s all sorts of room for artistic license. Private eye…embittered novelist…failed screenwriter…the choice is yours! Choose from any number of noir archetypees as you sip this high-rye, low-budget bourbon. Just remember, when Lenny “Three Fingers” comes looking for you, he’s going to know you by your drink.

      • “I remembered the broad had something about him that stuck out in my mind. She said he drank Old Grand-Dad Hundred Proof, neat. No water, no ice, nothing. It took a certain kind of man to slug Old Grand-Dad; you either had to be too rich to give a damn or too poor to care what you were drinking. And from what she said, it didn’t sound like this joker was living in the Hills.”

  9. I disagree totally. I loved the previous bottling – would give it 93+ points. As it is 100° with a couple of ice cubes – very complex,spicy – and a very dry, long finish. The new bottling stinks of rubber – all plastics contain softening agents that don’t affect wines that much when used as a stopper, but a 100° whiskey ? It only needs a few nanograms …..
    But forgetting the rubber – the new Old Grand-Dad is sickly sweet, caramel, with an aftertaste of toffee. I just hate it. For me, 79 points and I’ll give the rest of the bottle to somebody who will drink the stuff with coke.

  10. This is just staight up bourbon. No need to try and explain anymore. Taste is great finish is smooth , and the price is great. Great everyday drinker hard to beat. I love it.

  11. Just cracked open my first bottle of OGD 100. It is the older bottle with the screw cap. I put a couple drops of water and let it rest for about an hour while I worked at my desk (at home). Man, this stuff is good! Especially for the very first pour from the bottle. Gonna try and find a couple more to put in my stash.

  12. I have been a huge fan of OGD since 1976. I was 26 when a friend introduced us. It was love at first sip and to this day you will always find a bottle by my desk and at our bar. Our Eagles club has stocked 100 Proof OGD for me and basically me alone for 25 years! It is and probably always will be my drink of choice!

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