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  1. #1
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,394

    How old is that Overholt?

    Today I found 2 bottles of Old Overholt 4 year old, 86 proof at the princely sum of $7.99 each. I was drawn by what I thought were pseudo tax stamps from the transitional years, thinking that it'd be fun to compare current Beam Overholt with what they made in the '80s.

    But it was when I returned home, dusted the bottles off and took a closer look that I found they are National Distillers Products with real tax stamps. What really flummoxed me though was the line that read "Distilled in Pennsylvania" ?!?

    I really don't know much about Old Overholt's Pennsylvania days. I'd be grateful for any help in understanding what this rye is.

    Thanks,
    Roger

    PS One more thing I found interesting is that the label states "Bottled at Cincinnati, Ohio by A. Overholt & Co." I believe that ND headquarters were in Cincinnati, but shipping bulk whiskey from Pennsylvania to Cincinnati make it seem that the ND Cincinnati facility was considered state of the art while the Pennsylvania facility was much less efficient. It's all conjecture, I know almost nothing about this rye.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,621

    Re: How old is that Overholt?

    That is quite a find. While I can't exactly date it for you, the Overholt distillery in Pennsylvania was closed long before National was sold to Beam in 1987. I believe toward the end it was made and bottled at Old Grand-Dad in Frankfort (the Elkhorn Forks plant). My guess would be early 1980s at the latest.

    It is not hard at all to believe they were dumping Overholt in Pennsylvania and tank trucking it to National's bottling plant in Cincinnati. That was when American straight whiskey was tanking, if you will forgive the metaphor, and often would be "tanked" to prevent over-aging. It's possible that even by the time this whiskey was bottled, the Pennsylvania plant was long since closed and all of its whiskey had been debarreled and relocated to Cincinnati for holding and eventual bottling.

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,394

    Re: How old is that Overholt?

    Chuck,
    Thanks for the info.

    Are there enough samples of this old rye around that there's no particular significance to these 2 bottles? This Overholt must be from the last years rye was distilled in Pennsylvania, so I wonder if it should be rigorously tasted and evaluated (where could I POSSIBLY find people willing to do that?), or if I should just make my wife tasty Manhattans with it.

    -Roger

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,621

    Re: How old is that Overholt?

    I vote for rigorous testing and evaluation of at least one bottle by an esteemed panel in an appropriate multi-sided and covered exterior venue.

    No, there is not a lot of it around.

  5. #5
    Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Southeastern Indiana
    Posts
    68

    Re: How old is that Overholt?

    I happened to find an apparently later bottle that has the faux tax stamp and was distilled in Kentucky, also at 4yo and 86 proof. Have the earlier bottles already been rigorously evaluated?

    schlep

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    9,122

    Re: How old is that Overholt?

    Some of us had the opportunity to taste the Penn State product, courtesy Roger and others, and it was darn good: toasty, soft, with a flavour like an old cabinet chest if it had held pecans not clothes (is my take). Some of this was made at the original plant in Broad Ford, PA; the rest was likely made by Michter's. It is known Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA distilled rye for the Overholt label after the Broad Ford plant closed (which must have been in the 1960's or earlier). I believe what was tanked and sent to Cinci was probably Michter's rye.

    Gary

 

 

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