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Old Overholt 4 year old Straight Rye whiskey review

Old Overholt logo
WhiskyRant review of Old Overholt Straight Rye

Old Overholt has been in production for a long time and it is one of those straight rye whiskies available at most liquor stores. Originally from Pensylvania, nowadays produced at the Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky. It is a popular ingredient in classic cocktail mixes (Old Style Manhattan for example).

It looks like George Washington is in the label but it’s not. Even though, he did make rye whiskey at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia. The label has Abraham Overholt, the creator of Old Overholt and the father of American distilling. Old Overholt is the oldest straight rye whiskey on the market today and apparently it has something to do with American presidents. It was one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite whiskeys.


Because of its history – even though the modern day Overholt isn’t produced at the banks of Monongahela – it felt like having a dram with one of the founding fathers. I can’t come up with any good movie reference, so I’ll state that Old Overholt is not The Forgotten Founding Father.

Oxidation makes this rye whiskey a lot better, making it less dry and sour, but still keeping a little bit of that dryness and sour notes.

Nose: Stingy and sour rye develops into sweet, sugary rye. Hints of corn and fruity notes.

Taste: Rough and bitter rye with spices. Gets smoother and sweeter with time. Turns into gingery rye.

Finish: Like sour and mildly spicy rye bread. Pepper rises nicely very late in the aftertaste.

Balance: Harsh at first but when given time, this straight rye whiskey becomes decent.

Colour: Deep amber
Nose: 20  |  Taste: 19  |  Finish: 20   |  Balance: 19
Overall score: 78

Distillery: Jim Beam
Region: Clermont, Kentucky, USA
Owner: Beam Suntory
ABV: 40%

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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