Thursday, August 16, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Last night was the last of the Old Grand-Dad 114 proof, a bottle that must have lasted around 3 years. As I'm sure you have read here or elsewhere before, OGD came into the Jim Beam stable when Beam bought National Distillers in 1987. Before the purchase, Beam had one Bourbon mashbill. After the purchase, they had two: the rye-heavy OGD bill, now used for OGD 86, 100, and 114 and Basil Hayden's (who was the real Old Grand-Dad), and the regular bill, now used for everything else. I think that it's very interesting that Beam preserved the OGD mashbill. They certainly didn't for other acquisitions of old and storied brands like Old Crow and Old Taylor. Maybe the OGD brand carried a lot of clout in 1987, but it certainly doesn't today: at best, it's a middle-shelf brand that doesn't get much attention from boutique Bourbon consumers. OGD could very well have become just another orphan brand. I don't know that it made business sense for Beam to preserve the OGD mashbill, but it's fortuitous that they did. It's one of the most distinctive American whiskeys out there; and in this case, distinctive is good.

(Nothing new to report about my impressions of the Bourbon: lots of cinnamon and spice, very enjoyable, will probably buy another bottle at some point. It's a bargain at the $22 a fifth that Spec's wants for it.)

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