Old Overholt Bottled-in-Bond Rye Review & Tasting Notes

I’m always excited whenever a new bonded whiskey comes to market. I heard about Old Overholt Bonded Rye hitting the market and, at least this time, Wisconsin was not high on the early distribution schedule. However, yesterday one of my great local liquor store owners let me know that he just got it in. As you can guess, it didn’t take me more than a few hours to grab a bottle of this Rye.

The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 has very strict guidelines, including straight talk regarding what the label requires. The A. Overholt & Co., a Beam-Suntory subsidiary is listed as both the distiller in Clermont and the bottler in Frankfort. Following the very strict laws of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, the label shows it is distilled in Clermont and bottled in Frankfort. It is also is bottled at 100° and aged four years, the minimum age required by the Act.

Old Overholt’s mash bill is right around 51% rye, the remainder being corn and barley. That puts it in the same realm as Buffalo Trace’s Rittenhouse Rye. I’ve always enjoyed Rittenhouse, it was the Rye that got me interested in Rye.

So, how does Old Overholt Bonded stack up?

In the glass, the appearance was an orangish amber, reminiscent of the color of iodine. Swirling it around created a thin-to-medium rim that yielded thin, slow legs.

At chin level, a combination of floral rye and sawdust wafted to the nostrils. At lip level, brown sugar was evident, along with a bit of cereal. Lifting it right under my nose made the brown sugar stronger. Inhaling through my lips added vanilla.

The initial mouthfeel was very light and airy. A second sip confirmed it. Flavors of cinnamon and white pepper were up front, patience brought mint and dry oak.

The finish was long and continued to build spice on the front of the palate. It was slightly warming to the throat and a few sips made the hard palate a bit buzzy.

In the future, I’ll do a side-by-side blind tasting with Rittenhouse Rye. As for now, in my opinion, Old Overholt Bonded beat it.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: I’ve heard retail on this was in the mid-twenties. I paid $32.00. That’s more than I wanted to pay, but it is still enjoyable. For the suggested retail, I’d make this a definite Buy. For what I paid, it starts to enter the realm of Bar. If I found it for a lower price I’d absolutely buy another Bottle. Cheers!