Old Overholt Bonded Straight Rye

"The year extra and the higher proof add more depth and power, a step up"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Bottled-in-bond or bonded has safeguarded the quality of American spirits since 1897. Still many companies use this designation, which does not always mean that the whisky is of good quality. Obviously. It just means it at least follows the regulations. The counterpart of Old Overholt, Rittenhouse, has had a widely distributed bottled-in-bond version for quite some time. In response, Old Overholt released a bonded version of their rye in 2018. Unfortunately, their version is only available in the US and is very difficult to reach from Europe. Luckily, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with this release and compare it with their standard version.

Nose

A sweeter nose compared to the non-bonded version, and more wood. Also more fragrant with a few hints of flowers, citrus fruits like grapefruit, and orange rand. It is pretty powerful and has a long-lasting scent. I find lots of mint, fresh spices, some peppery meat, clove, roses, a hint of Indian spices, a hint of sweet liquorice, a few rose-flavoured sweets, and a fragrant version of caramel (no idea how you make that). It can take some drops of water, which brings out more citrus sweets.

Taste

A flavourful fruit mix of oranges, grapefruits and tangerines. Fresh, slightly greasy, and spicy. Pepper, Spanish peppers, more orange zest, and a much longer aftertaste. It does get slightly bitter, but that is countered by a bit of lemon freshness, citrus sweets, and oranges, a hint of liquorice, and rose jam.

Overall

I find this quite good and a big step up from the non-bonded version. The extra year provides additional interaction with the wood that creates extra depth, and the higher proof gives this a much needed power boost. If I would find this in a store nearby I would gladly add it to my collection. If only.

What others say

Whiskybase: 85.57 (9 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 3/5 * @Distiller: 86/100 * @TheWhiskeyJug: 85/100 * @WhiskeyApostle: Stands Out
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Sweet <-> Spicy
55%
Nose 86.5%
Taste 85.5%
Balance 86%
Depth 86.5%
Finish 85%
Score