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Old Overholt


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Wajja thing I iz, stoo-pud? Hell, yooz kud lik dat Ol-Po-Trair-Oh rite nuf, an jus sez yooz dont, jus ti git a boddel o dat dare Van Winkle. Ha! Kant foolz me ya ol pollkat.

SpeedyJohn

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

[red]Shooooooo Wheeeeeeeeee Doggies!!![/red] Speedy just brought your yankee ass on down south. I promise not to kick it any further than the Mason - Dixon. smirk.gif

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Hmmm....Let's see. Do I want my ass kicked to the Mason-Dixon Line, OR, should I drink some Maker's Mark.......hmmm.........kicked in the ass.........Maker's Mark.......Hmmm........Exactly how far is it from your place to the Mason-Dixon? grin.gif

SJ

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I have heard, straight from Mr. Van Winkle's mouth as a matter of fact that the Van Winkle and Hirsch rye's are one and the same juice. If I understood Julian correctly (hey, I was buzzin) when he's done filling up his bottles, he puts the remainder into the Hirsch label.

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I knew it! That explains why the VW 13 is always just a weeeee bit nicer all around than the Hirsch. Mama Van Winkle din't raise no fools, and Julian sure knows a barrel. I'd love to taste what he sets aside first, for the family.

Ralph Wilps

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Well, I'd love to go to the Bourbon Festival, right now, it's 50/50..

Good to see (being a Canuck) the respect for Lot 40 on this board; that's about the best of our

craft rye whiskies.

On this talk about Potrero, pro and con: I like it, both versions, surely old-time ryes

were like that.

But question: why doesn't Maytag release a much older version? Did he not first distill

rye whiskey almost ten years ago?

There must be lots of that first make in the can, er, cask.

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He is more like the Great Pumpkin. Every fall at harvest time, Bill Samuels rises out of the wheat field and brings top quality wheated bourbon to the boys and girls with the most sincere liquor cabinets grin.gif

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Thanks for the info Bobby. I've never had the Sazarec, and didn't know that it's from Buffalo Trace. Is it worth twice as much as WT Rye and Old Overholt? Has anyone done a tasting on it before? I was aware that Buffalo Trace has some higher end Bourbons in their line up and that they have the Stagg coming out in Oct (?). I've only had their namesake brand which I've enjoyed a lot. As you say, with the Van Winkle association, they've got a LOT going for them right now.

Bob

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I think Sazerac (and Van Winkle 13yo) are both worth the higher price. They are great in a very different way than WT (which I also like). IMHO they have less spice and a fuller more luxurious nose and palate. tongue.gif

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  • 1 year later...

Just bringing forward this older thread to comment on a rare chance (for me) to compare the current Old Overholt to the one of some 25 years ago. And it didn't happen by me finding the oldie in a dusty out-of-the-way liquor store or through a friend, but rather by being presented with a bottle I had "bunkered away" in 1987. I was spending time in Miami recently and visited snowbird relations in Fort Lauderdale. I was offered a drink from the condo bar and my host said, "oh you left this with us in 1987 and there is still some left, take it". It was a partly filled bottle of Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, 86 (not 80) proof, bearing a National Distillers imprint and stating the whiskey was made in Cincinatti, Ohio. I believe no rye is made there today and beg Chuck Cowdery's indulgence to elucidate the plant history and ownership changes since the early 1980's. (By the way I want to give here a completely unsolicited plug for Chuck's bourbon newsletter of which the most recent was the best yet I have read. It covers areas we don't see here on these boards and is a real asset to keeping up on bourbon developments and history). The circa-1980 Overholt's was, very clearly, superior in taste to the current one. While bearing the familiar 4 year age statement the oldie tasted more mature than 4 years' aging would suggest, more like 7-10 years old. The flavour was rich, sweet, deep, complex, with rye tangs but good corn character too. There was not a whisper in it of the citric-like ("dry yeast") edge of numerous Beam whiskeys (certainly the current Overholt's shows it, Jim Beam White Label too and others in the range). The oldie Overholt's would have been distilled around 1980 and it hadn't changed in the bottle at all, it tasted exactly as I recall it from that time. The current one is not a bad whiskey but does not come close to the Old Overholt of 20 years ago. There is a connection in the flavour but it is tenuous at best..

Gary

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Well, not much left to say. I have tried to like the Old Overholt and the Jim Beam, but they are just a little too thin in body and flavor. In my opinion, the Wild Turkey is much better. More flavor and body. And the Rittenhouse 100 proof is so close to the Wild Turkey that I could barely tell the difference in a side by side, blind taste test.

And the Van Winkle and Hirsch are both excellent. I had a hard time telling the difference in a side by side, blind taste test. The Van Winkle is very slightly more sweet than the Hirsch.

Regards, jimbo

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The Van Winkle is very slightly more sweet than the Hirsch.

I believe that Julian Van Winkle III has stated here that they are the same whiskey. By that time, I too had succumbed to temptation and had bought a bottle of the Hirsch, even though it cost an additional $10 for the bottle, compared to the Van Winkle.

Curiously, I was inclined to call the Hirsh the sweeter of the two, but by such a small margin that I hardly trusted myself to make that call.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield (The Original DaveM)

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The National Distillers plant in Cincinnati with which I am familiar made (and perhaps still makes for its current owner, Jim Beam) the DeKuyper line of cordials, as well as Gilbey's Gin and other compound white spirits. If "Cincinnati, Ohio" is the only location identified on the label, then they must have made whiskey there at one time, but I'm not aware of any whiskey distilling that was going on in Ohio in the 1980s.

The Overholt brand itself goes back to Abraham Overholt in 1810. The business was continued by his son and cousin. Industrialist Henry Clay Frick's mother was an Overholt. He inherited some shares in the company and subsequently bought the rest, some of which he sold to Andrew Mellon, who acquired more when Frick died. As Treasury Secretary in the 20s, Mellon was responsibile for the enforcement of Prohibition, so he sold his interest to National Distillers.

Overholt was one of the few distilleries with a pretty good stock of whiskey at the end of Prohibition. It provided whiskey for many revived National Distillers brands after Repeal.

Jim Beam Brands Co. acquired National in 1987. Old Overholt today is still made and sold by Jim Beam. That's all I know.

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Thanks for this and the previous comments. I only had about four ounces left of the circa-1980 Old Overholt after some sampling with friends. As it happened, my bottle of Fleischmann's blended whiskey had been sampled by the same amount, so I added the Overholt's to the Fleishmann to top it up. This may sound like a travesty to some but I felt it made the Fleischmann's, good to start with, only better. The Fleischmann's is to my taste a very rye-leaning blend so adding the good rich Overholt's just deepened its original character, it did not vary it much less do any harm. Adding the four ounces raised the straight whiskey component of the Fleischmann by about 10%, so it is now about 65/35% neutral spirits to straight whiskey. A fine tot it is, it made a very good "rye and ginger" and drinks neat just fine. It was a way, too, to make the quality of the circa-1980 Old Overholt's last longer.

Gary

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I believe that Julian Van Winkle III has stated here that they are the same whiskey. By that time, I too had succumbed to temptation and had bought a bottle of the Hirsch, even though it cost an additional $10 for the bottle, compared to the Van Winkle.

Curiously, I was inclined to call the Hirsh the sweeter of the two, but by such a small margin that I hardly trusted myself to make that call.

Dave, we both seem to have similar tastes. What are some of your other favorites?

By the way, did you know that your picture looks just like a dog?

Regards, jimbo

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Here is an update on the progess of my Fleischmann's Preferred Blended Whiskey which as mentioned earlier I have been tweaking by adding straight rye whiskey.

First, a reminder that the whiskey as sold by Barton's is very good. It is a rye-oriented blended American whiskey. It may contain some Bourbon but most of the (25%) straight whiskey content has to be rye whiskey.

Initially as indicated earlier, after consuming about 4 ounces from a litre bottle I replaced the amount consumed by the same amount of circa 1980-distilled Old Overholt straight rye whiskey.

The result was very good. Everything in the original Fleischmann's was preserved but deepened. Fleischmann's has a potent taste of rye whiskey (that musky "damp cardboard" signature which is an acquired taste even for many whiskey devotees) against a background of light caramel, orange bitters and smooth vodka-like alcohol. Adding the rich Overholt's made it that much better but true to itself, just a "premium" version.

After 4 ounces were consumed of the replenished litre bottle, I decided to top it up with Sazerac 18 year old rye whiskey.

The result is very good indeed, a super-premium of the original Fleischmann's.

Now, the blend has more body, a complex bouquet, edges of oak in the taste and finish, in a word, considerable further depth. The original elements are still there (the rye, the caramel, the orange peel, the smooth alcohol) but just that much better.

I've got it now to about 50/50 straight whiskey to the neutral spirit and will leave it as is. I don't think I can make it any better without changing it into something different.

I wonder who the blender is at Barton's responsible for Fleischmann's. I'd like to give him a taste of my "improvement". I wonder if he would agree it is on the continuum of what he made but better due to the addition two quality straight rye whiskeys.

Gary

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