A full-proof version of this classic rye-tinged bourbon. Unbelievably smooth for a spirit of this strength, Old Gran-dad 114 will put hairs on your chest.
It is 11:00 am and I have been awake for 18 hours. While the effects of the previous night’s alcohol has worn off (Don’t judge me!), my fatigue is capped by my morning cup of coffee, directly injected into my blood stream. For spirits reviews I have to make an attempt to put in at full steam, and, when it is time to review a high proof bourbon, it is time to buckle up my life vest.
For me, no high proof spirit holds as much of a packed punch to the testicles as does Old Grand Dad 114. With a 114 proof barrel strength bourbon, the infamous “Knob Creek” brand spits on you, hot waxes your balls, and then pisses on them. I don’t know Hitchhiker’s Guide, but is this something like a Vogon planet of “Resolution”?
Being a corn liquor and a rye liquor, Old Grand Dad 114 is thought of as “Kentucky whiskey.” One of my life regrets is that I am not able to find any information on how the watered down version (Old Grand Dad 88) is different than the barrel strength version. As of now, I can tell you this, the 114 proof version is a very smooth, very drinkable spirit. It seems that the high proof spirit is a burden to the taster, rather than the normal burden of enjoying a whiskey.
Old Grand Dad 114 has an incredible smooth nose for being at 114 proof. The alcohol you get out of the spirit is of a medicinal nature, like a mouthwash for third world countries. Underneath it is a wonderful rye malt and bread smell. It is surprising to find rye, but it is rye to the bone, bordering on the medicinal. Nothing is enthralling or incomparable, but it is exactly what you expect in a high proof bourbon.
The mouthfeel and taste are unexceptional. The spirit, as we know, is at 114 proof. Every sip feels like it is going to burn as it goes down. The burn is strong, but unmemorable. I have had spirits of similar alcohol baring a burn, that felt different, and were identifiable as a fire in the belly. Unfortunately, Old Grand Dad 114 presents a burn that is large, but not epic. And I hate the word epic.
As I said before, the nose is surprisingly smooth and rye in character. There is a definite alcoholic burn at the end, but it is not enough to latch onto if you are only seeking that as your tasting target. Instead, the spirit leads you to other places on the palette, places that have the flavor of a rye, without a rye sweetness on top of it. Instead, the characteristic full flavor of any bourbon that is on the high end of the proof spectrum.
In many ways, Old Grand Dad 114 is a classic bourbon. It has a very long finish, with a smooth alcohol kick to it. As you finish swallowing, you get a firey burn that slowly goes down.
Old Grand Dad 114 Bourbon is like a traditional bourbon you may have had before. You know what I mean. It’s kinda smooth, but not really. You have to sip it to enjoy it, and that is where it is at its best. It is very full proof, so you have to watch yourself or you will be buzzing all over the place.
As a bourbon aficiando who is looking to explore high proof spirits, this is perfect. It won’t make you regret it, and it will give you a nice buzz without a huge headache. The beauty of Old Grand Dad 114 is its accessibility. If you want to taste a high proof spirit, but you don’t want the experience of drinking fire in a bottle, you can knock this one back pretty easily. I hope that Old Grand Dad 114 Bourbon is what you buy (you can buy it here) and if you do, let me know what you think of it.