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View Full Version : No age statement on Old Overholt anymore....



ethangsmith
01-12-2013, 16:29
I noticed the "Four Years Old" statement in the lower right corner is now gone on Old Overholt. I bought a bottle to compare it to the trickle of my old bottle I have left. The new stuff is about as good as the garbage Wild Turkey 81 rye. It's pee yellow with no nose. It has little flavor and is very grainy and young. The old bottle I had at least had hints of leather and spice- this is just grain and flatness. So now I wonder what makes the Old Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye.....

HighInTheMtns
01-12-2013, 16:45
I noticed the "Four Years Old" statement in the lower right corner is now gone on Old Overholt. I bought a bottle to compare it to the trickle of my old bottle I have left. The new stuff is about as good as the garbage Wild Turkey 81 rye. It's pee yellow with no nose. It has little flavor and is very grainy and young. The old bottle I had at least had hints of leather and spice- this is just grain and flatness. So now I wonder what makes the Old Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye.....
Since 4 years old and NAS mean the same thing, I wonder what has changed?

Bourbon Boiler
01-12-2013, 17:27
That is a strange one. I doubt their making it older and keeping it a secret. Maybe they assume most buyers don't understand the requirement, and they want it to "seem" older?

smknjoe
01-12-2013, 17:36
I didn't know that there was a requirement for labeling rye that was aged less than 4 years. I thought it was just for bourbon.

HighInTheMtns
01-12-2013, 17:44
I didn't know that there was a requirement for labeling rye that was aged less than 4 years. I thought it was just for bourbon.
All straight whiskey, at least.

smknjoe
01-12-2013, 17:49
Thanks for the heads up! I didn't know that.

ethangsmith
01-12-2013, 19:17
I just took a second look at the bottle- in small print on the back of the bottle neck "Three Years Old."

My taste buds did not deceive me. This stuff is young garbage.

squire
01-12-2013, 19:25
Ack, will this madness never cease. I expect the next thing will be a price increase.

ethangsmith
01-12-2013, 19:28
At $20, they will price themselves out of the market.

Here's the million dollar question- what makes the new Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye?????

oke&coke
01-12-2013, 19:29
What was the age on it previously?

HighInTheMtns
01-12-2013, 19:31
I guess that as you discovered, the difference is one year in the barrel, and barrel selection of course. Same as the difference between Old Crow and JBW?

What was the age on it previously?
It was 4.

ethangsmith
01-12-2013, 19:32
Four years on the front label. This was the first thing I noticed when I picked up the bottle. I totally missed the Three Years Old label on the back of the neck until I took a second look at the bottle a few moments ago.

Lazer
01-12-2013, 20:34
have you noticed that the label look like a dollar bill?

I have one of the 4yr bottles open. I'm pretty close to pouring it out. too young for my taste.

kickert
01-12-2013, 21:35
...what makes the new Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye?????

In my opinion... Nothing! They are two of the most disgusting whiskeys I have ever tasted. I find them oily/soapy with no redeeming tastes to cover it.

squire
01-13-2013, 13:37
Wonder if the decision process went any further than "Hey! We can cash in on this Rye fad".

PaulO
01-13-2013, 14:09
Sometimes I would get the taste of roasted peanuts from Overholt. The last bottle I bought has been in the cabinet for a long time. I thought Beam Rye was much worse. It just wasn't good at all. This saved me from wasting any money on R1. All this, and I'm a big fan of rye. I really like Rittenhouse, the various versions of LGI, Saz, and others.

Brisko
01-14-2013, 09:00
At $20, they will price themselves out of the market.

Here's the million dollar question- what makes the new Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye?????

Well, if I'm not mistaken, Beam is still 4 years old. I've only been drinking them for a couple years but I've always found them to be quite similar, although the Overholt sometimes tasted younger even if it wasn't. The last bottle of Beam rye I had (purchased a couple of months ago) was pretty grainy and young, too, even at 4 years old.

In this market Overholt has been about $10 for a 750. Which was a deal even if it didn't taste that great, it was still good for mixing with ginger ale in the summer.

I wonder how much rye they had to divert into the Knob Creek brand? That would account for the change.

darylld911
01-17-2013, 19:02
At $20, they will price themselves out of the market.

Here's the million dollar question- what makes the new Overholt different than the Beam yellow label rye?????

$20 a bottle??? I just bought my first bottle the other night for $9.99. I haven't opened it yet, nor had much experience with it in the past (had it a couple times and thought it was alright - and maybe better than alright for $10). I just double checked and mine is 3 yrs old also . . . so thanks for the heads up on what to expect :frown:

MauiSon
01-18-2013, 03:24
Guess Ima gonna stock up some, I like OO 4year and it's always cheaper than Beam Yellow here.

tmckenzie
01-19-2013, 06:43
Reading this I remembered I had some PA distilled overholt. What a difference a couple or 3 decades makes. I remember the first time I had OO from Beam. it was late 90's. Bought it in KY. It had such a lovely rye not to it. And it was markedly different at that time from Beam rye.

squire
01-19-2013, 08:17
Ain't it the truth Tom, and to think three decades ago we took Overholt for granted. I don't blame Beam for dumbing down the product and keeping the price up, they're in business to make money, but I can't help wondering if they're pulling a Taylor/Crow act here to move customers away from the baseline Ryes and on to their higher priced Ryes.

JB64
01-22-2013, 00:07
I picked up my first bottle of OO a few weeks ago. Considering the $10 price I felt it was a really decent pour. After reading this thread I checked my bottle and it has a 4 year age statement. I plan on picking up a few more of the 4 year old bottles since they are going the way of the dinosaurs.

MauiSon
02-04-2013, 12:26
I visited my favorite store today and bought their last two 4-year bottles. They had some of the newer 3-year stuff, too, but I haven't tried it. I paid $12/750, tax included. I like this rye quite a bit, it's easy drinking and a good ginger-ale rye. I always get a taste of gum that I haven't found elsewhere. I worry, tho, if maybe they used up old 4-year labels on the first release of the 3-year juice. I guess I'll know when i taste it.

squire
02-04-2013, 13:30
No, the law doesn't permit the label to state an age greater than the youngest whisky in the bottle.

MauiSon
02-04-2013, 17:18
. . . and no one ever breaks the law, as we all know.

The Beam Global site still advertises it as 4 years old. Wikipedia has it as 3 years old, but shows a bottle of the 4 year old.

squire
02-04-2013, 19:37
I'm confident Beam's legal advisers take the law very seriously.

cowdery
02-05-2013, 16:02
TTB only cares about the label, it doesn't care about the web site.

Beam is now managing a portfolio of straight ryes and even though they make way more straight rye than anyone else, I'm confident they are selling everything that's coming through the pipeline. They adjust their forecasts about every six months. I'm sure taking a year off Overholt's age allowed them to free up a significant amount of whiskey in the pipeline for the higher profit brands.

They may also be planning and preparing for some new ones, undoubtedly at the top end. Basil Hayden's has been booming lately. It's a high-rye bourbon and Basil's grandson, who created the Old Grand-Dad brand, also sold an Old Grand-Dad Rye. Is a Basil Hayden Rye in the works? I wouldn't be surprised.

Along those lines, it's a mistake to assume that Old Overholt is 3 years old just because the label says so. The age statement, after all, means only that all of the whiskey in the bottle is at least 3 years old. It's possible that their ability to use that whiskey in more profitable brands put immediate pressure on them to drop to 3-years immediately, but it more likely means they wanted the flexibility to use whiskey that young if they need to, but generally it will be older.

It could even be that there has been no change in the age profile of the product, but there probably will be going forward. A smart way to make such a change is to change the label but not the product to see if there is any change in sales. Most people don't look at the label, especially consumers of old, bottom shelf brands. Most of the Old Overholt sold is being bought by people who probably have been buying it for 30 years or more. If they notice a flavor change and change their buying habits as a result, Beam will be able to spot and measure that, and react.

Anyway, think about how you would manage a portfolio in which Old Overholt is your youngest and least profitable product when your supply of whiskey is finite.