Old Hickory Straight Bourbon Whiskey
What the Bottler Says:
Old Hickory White Label is a straight bourbon distilled at 86 proof, which is the traditional “Perfect Proof” preferred historically by American distillers. Created for modern whiskey cocktails and bourbon connoisseurs, Old Hickory White Label is rich and near mahogany in color. With intense spice and oak aromas, this bold whiskey is masculine and displays notes of cedar and gingerbread. The over-proof delivers a lingering finish of pie crust and sweet tobacco.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Young and thin, corn (but not as much corn sweet as I’d expect) and sour wood with a hint of anise.
Palate: Thin mouthfeel, young and more wood influence than I expected. Subtle sweetness with a hint of caramel and vanilla.
Finish: Fairly short and dry.
Comments: I tasted this before I read up on it, and based on taste alone – I figured this was under four years old, and possibly aged in smaller than 53 gallon barrels (as I get more wood for something fairly young). After researching further, I’m disappointed at the lack of transparency. First, the web-site states it was distilled at 86 proof. This could be true, but I doubt it – my guess is that it is bottled at 86 proof (big difference). I had to go to R.S. Lipman’s website to get a fact sheet, which spells out that this was distilled at “the historic Joseph E. Seagram’s facility in Lawrenceburg, IN” – which is another way to say this is MGP like many other NDP bourbons on the market. This isn’t a negative – MGP makes (and has made) some really solid whiskey! But Seagram’s went out of business in 2000, and the distillery has been owned by Pernod Ricard, CL Financial (who renamed it in 2007 to Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana – LDI), and MGP Ingredients since 2011. Later they mention MGP (as they want to use the social responsibility, environmental health, innovations, etc that they list on their site), but I still find it disingenuous to not give them credit from the go. They state that the whiskey is aged a minimum of 4 yrs and “has stocks up to 7 years old”, and as the label has no age statement, it must be a minimum of 4 yrs old – although if there is 7 yr old stock included, I would suspect that is a very small amount.
Saying I was unimpressed would be an understatement. For 86 proof straight bourbon, I would be much happier with Evan Williams black label personally. And seeing the suggested retail price would make this an easy pass for me.
Rating: Probably Pass
What Richard Says:
Nose: Light and barely there. There’s a bit of corn and licorice in the back but little else.
Palate: Sweet. This is lacking depth of flavor. It’s basically just sweetness.
Finish: Light and forgettable.
Comments: Again, like the Old Hickory Blended Bourbon this isn’t bad per se. It’s really just a bland, uninspiring whiskey that would be fine for mixing if it wasn’t priced so high.
We would like to thank Double Diamond Marketing & Communications for sending us a sample to review.