Old Overholt Bonded

Old Overholt Bonded. It's a year older and 20° proof higher than the standard Old Overholt that has been around for years. It's got a suggested retail price of $24.99 for a 750 mL. I've found it for as low as $22.99 for a 750 and $27.99 for a liter locally. 

Since this is the third affordable rye in Jim Beam's line-up so I though that it might be interesting to see how they match up to one another in a blind tasting. So I did. Blind pours of Jim Beam Rye non-age stated at 90° proof (16.99 for a 750ml bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN), Old Overholt 3 years at 80° proof (12.99 for a 750ml bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN), and the new Old Overholt Bonded 4 years old at 100° proof (28.99 for a Liter bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN). 

Whiskey 1

Nose: Mint, almond, a hint of oak, cardamom, ginger and fleeting hints of dill.

Mouth: Tingly spice with black pepper, mint, lemon oil and dusty oak. 

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering black pepper ginger and dusty oak.

Thoughts: This is fine. Very much not my favorite of the three, but not the worst either. 

Whiskey 2

Nose: Sweet with almond, cardamom, and a hint of mint.

Mouth:  Easy going with hints of spice. Clove and almond.

Finish: Gentle with lingering spice. 

Thoughts: Not much here. Delicate and sweet with minimal spice when compared to the last one. 

Whiskey 3

Nose: Warm, dried grain. Brown sugar, dusty old lumber, and black tea. 

Mouth: Sweet with tingly spice. Black pepper, mint, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Finish: Medium length and warm. The spices from the mouth continue to linger into the finish.

Thoughts: I'm kinda liking this one. It drinks more like a high rye bourbon than a rye. 


Whiskey 1 was Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style Rye. Whiskey 2 was Old Overholt 80. Whiskey 3 was Old Overholt Bonded. All of these shared a strong family resemblance. The proof seems to be the biggest factor in how enjoyable they are to sip on. The highest proof is also the most enjoyable and the lowest proof is the least enjoyable.


A few further notes on the Old Overholt Bonded. I'm not as high on this one in cocktails as others are. I feel like it is getting lost in cocktails meant for Rye. On the other hand, I'm enjoying it quite a bit in a rocks glass in front of the tv. Like I noted in the blind notes, it drinks more like a high-rye bourbon than a Straight Rye, but since it is barely legal at 51%, that is to be expected. Overall I'd say that the added proof and extra year of age is worth the cost over the standard Old Overholt. Whether it is worth the cost compared to the Jim Beam Rye will be up to you. I enjoyed it more so I'd be likely to say yes for me. Still not my favorite rye, but if I pretend it is a bourbon I am more than content with it.

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