Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good Bye Old Overholt *sniff*

Ok, so I'm not trying to be Mr. Dusty drinker in your face snobby blah blah blah.....but the reality is, there are actually quite a few enthusiasts out there that have a decent bunker that includes out of production whiskies.  So, I share just for the heck of it plus it's fun rolling through these older whiskies.

A number of years back, I'm pilfering through D.C. liquor stores and I walk into one store that is a treasure trove of older whiskies in bygone era decanters that included a Baccarat Crystal Decanter of Wild Turkey 101, two full train sets of Jim Beam, various Michters Jug Decanters and a few others that escape me.  The owner had a decent inventory of whiskey and when asking him about these very unique decanters he indicates that they may not all be for sale.  So, on a whim, I ask about the Baccarat Decanter, hold my breath and wait for the answer.  He indicates he would take no less than $1,200.  I secretly think "yah, I bet you would".  Moving on....nothing to see here.

He also indicates the other decanters are not for sale as they belonged to his father and had sentimental value.  Ok, fine.

I'm ready to walk out and move on to the next store when I spy a couple of bottles of Old Overholt Rye Whiskey.  The label on this whiskey hasn't changed in years so it's hard to tell what's recent and what's dusty.  On closer inspection, they both have tax strips so I ask to see them. This Rye whiskey has a very long history in American whiskey production and as such has contained a couple different mashbills.  Early on, Old Overholt was produced in Pennsylvania, then was moved to Kentucky by National Distillers.  In 1987, Jim Beam purchased the brand and began using their normal Rye whiskey for this label.  The timeline is somewhat important for these two bottles I'm eyeballing as I didn't want the whiskey if it contained Beam juice.  For a more detailed explanation of Old Overholt, see Chuck Cowdery's post here.

I flip the bottle over and see "84" on the bottom......glory be!  I purchase both bottles for $9.95 a piece.  A a general rule, National Distillers made some pretty fine whiskey from Old Grand Dad to Old Talyor and Old Overholt.

The 1984 Old Overholt at 80 proof was packed with flavor, had a nice mid palate that exhibited sweet floral notes.  The finish was moderately long with a good bit of sweetness lingering on the palate after the sip made it's way to my gullet. I've been nursing this bottle for quite some time but it was time to retire this bottle.  I still have the sister bottle in the bunker and I'm not sure when I'll get around to opening it.  Maybe if I ever go hunting again, I'll make an effort to find more of this very fine Rye.


  1. I wasn't aware that Old Overholt passed through so many hands. Great info. and post. Cheers!

  2. Awesome post, Greg. I've been on the lookout for dusties of Old Overholt. I bought a bottle of the new stuff recently and found I didn't really enjoy it neat - but it's a fine mixer. It's just a bit shy and loose compared to much of the great rye kicking around lately (granted this is hitting a shockingly low price point). Sadly the world is alive to dusties these days and troves are very hard to find...

    1. Yes, the world is alive to dusties so I'm glad I hit my local market when I did. I'm not finding much when I do hunt although, my last score wasn't too shabby. Another one to watch out for as a dusty is Pikesville Rye. This is another one I came upon while hunting and it turned out to be quite good.

  3. Now that is an excellent, super-lucky find.