|Templeton Rye Spirits, LLC
|Type & Region:
|Whiskey, Templeton, Iowa, USA
|at least 51% rye
|0.7 on the color scale (amber)
About Old Crow Whiskey
Old Crow is a bottom-shelf bourbon that began during the 19th century in Louisville, Kentucky where its name was displayed on a crow inside a saloon. This saloon was owned by James C. Crow, a Scottish immigrant who worked in Kentucky for two different Bourbon distilleries before starting his own. The location of the original recipe is unknown at this time, but records indicate it was somewhere in Kentucky.
James C. Crow died in 1856 and the distillery’s name was eventually changed to reflect this, becoming the W.A. Gaines Company. This company would bottle and distribute Old Crow Whiskey from then on.
With a uniquely crafted mash bill – a combination of corn, rye, and barley — Old Crow is a bourbon that provides a taste that is purely American. This, coupled with its rich history — which includes playing a part in the Civil War — gives the brand much to admire even now as it is enjoyed around the globe. In fact, like an old American bourbon brand, Old Crow is now exported to several countries including those in Europe and Asia.
It’s an unwritten rule of the bourbon game that appearances count for something. Appearance, of course, includes not only the color of the spirit (dark amber, golden brown, or deep golden), but also the style of the bottle (the shape, size, and labeling). That’s where Old Crow comes in.
The color of this whiskey is pretty light, not much caramel or amber at all. Just yellowish gold looks like golden honey when poured into the glass, very inviting. The neck is short, the legs are slow to form but for sure. You will appreciate this whiskey if you are a fan of classic bourbon.
The first sniff of Old Crow will present you with a lot of subtle honey flavoring and a waxy aroma that’s apparent as soon as you open the bottle. The unique nose is created by the barrel staves, which were previously used to store bourbon. They impart not only a sweet vanilla-like aroma to the whiskey but also work to draw out the rich caramel notes that are present in good quality bourbon itself. Vintage bourbon is scented with burnt sugar, hard cherry candy, earthy wood, traces of baking spices, and most of all the heady scent of caramel corn.
While comparing the taste to candy corn may seem a bit extreme this bourbon exhibits a very unique taste that is just plain fun to drink. The fact that it brings back memories of being a child and the various ways we were able to enjoy candy corn makes this one of my favorite bourbons.
Old Crow whiskey has a very corn and caramel-dominant flavor, which gives it a very unique sweetness. This bourbon has an underlying buttery flavor that enriches the overall blend in a way that simmers on your tongue. This is the kind of spirit you want to enjoy on the rocks or with ice so you can really taste its complex tasting notes pumping through your tastebuds. Additionally, it has a hint of citrus-infused throughout the body of the bourbon which adds a nice opposing taste to the overall blend increasing its complexity and versatility.
Old Crow is a pleasant bourbon, unlike other bourbons, which do not have the typical vanilla undertones you would expect from most very affordable bourbons, and it is also much less expensive than many other bourbons. It has more of a heavy woody overtone — almost akin to an astringent taste. The palate will have an initial sweetness. With its light, smooth taste, Old Crow has always been one of the most popular American blended whiskies. It also has a slight hint of oak sprinkled into it however the oak is not too prominent in the overall blend. There is a certain element in the taste and the smell in which this old whiskey gives in to its consumers in which gives in to a sense of well-being and celebration one can say.
With slight hints of smoky spice, the finish on this bourbon is heavy and latent with a buttery popcorn flavor that translates into a caramel corn flavor. Vanilla, butter, and oak are all detectable in the finish while sipping this bourbon neat. During the finish, you’ll notice a transition: initially, the butter and caramel come through and then slowly fade away. The spice remains pretty consistent throughout the finish and turns into a bit of a resiny note. Old Crow is a bourbon that starts out rawer than other bourbons and stays smooth but not as smooth as other lighter bourbons. With the rye’s intense spice notes keeping things lively, this is also an interesting whiskey for cocktails.
Old Crow Alternatives
If you enjoy traditional whiskey and other popular spirits then you should know their alternatives exist. These should be your Old Crow alternatives.
Old Forester Rye
Old Forester is one of the oldest bourbon brands in the world. It was first produced in 1870 and its lineage has been passed down through the great-grandchildren and great-great-grandsons of Dr. William Forrester, the namesake of the whiskey brand. This tradition lives on through current owner Brown-Forman who recognize the fact that although there may be new ways of doing things, they must never forget their history.
Taking on its dark color, Old Forester Rye is quite dark on the nose with caramel, baked bread, and licorice with hints of vanilla, orange, and apple. It is right where it should be for its age. There is definitely rye spice with its cinnamon kick to the mix.
When you take the first sip, it’s very sweet; you get honey and oranges up front, with some oak and cinnamon behind it. It’s very nice, but not really what you would typically find in a rye — in my opinion, at least. The aroma is complex and varied; it goes from sweet to spicy easily.
New Riff Winter Whiskey Bourbon
New Riff is the brainchild of two true Kentucky boys who started with a simple idea: What if we steeped our bourbon in already aged beer oak barrels? Thus was born, New Riff Distilling Company.
New Riff Winter Whiskey’s odor is fragrant, beginning with caramel, but then immediately delivers a dense medicinal and earthy note that doesn’t seem to belong in a whiskey. It has a distinctive combination of soggy cardboard, chives, rosemary, thyme, and must.
A boldness of oak, clove, and cocoa powder dominates Winter Whiskey’s flavors alongside the caramel, vanilla, orange creamsicle, apple, and cinnamon. The bourbon from New Riff has hints of espresso, lightly sweet mocha, and smoothness that helps it taste older than its 4-5 years.
Knob Creek Straight Rye
Knob Creek is a widely available and relatively affordable rye whiskey from Jim Beam, one of the largest American whiskey distilleries. It’s the flagship product in their portfolio, offering a well-balanced, bold rye whiskey that’s aged for 6 years.
The nose of Knob Creek Rye is spicy, with honey, fruit, wood, and earth. It’s characterized by having honey, licorice, anise, roasted oak, musty caraway seed and grains, dried citrus, and a little pear in it.
Knob Creek Rye is a well-aged, smooth bourbon but with the addition of rye. It also has a much less earthy nose and more fruity notes from the rye and a lot less vanilla. As a matter of fact, there isn’t much vanilla left in this at all.
Old Crow might not be the first whiskey that springs to mind when you think about the brands available on the market today, but this bourbon is considered to be one of the best cheap bourbons that are available today.
Is Old Crow Worth the Money?
Here’s a question a lot of people have in their minds when it comes to bargains that will save a few bucks. People want to have a blast without spending too much. Good whiskey is no cheap addition, and many wonder if the cheap bottles found in most liquor stores are actually worth the money.
How Much Is a Bottle of Old Crow?
If you are looking to buy Old Crow, then you probably already know that it’s one of the oldest whiskies on the market. If $12 per bottle of old whiskey doesn’t sound like chump change, consider that a single shot of bourbon can cost that much. The price makes this whiskey a steal.
Does Old Crow Increase in Value?
It seems like many whiskeys are increasing in value these days, especially bourbon. Even though Old Crow’s price is under $20 you still can find whiskey lovers who keep those bottles till the moment it gets more in price. Such a cheap whiskey is still considered to be likable.
Is Old Crow Better Than Old Forester Rye?
If you’re a bourbon lover, then you understand how fiercely loyal we can be to our brand of choice. Ask any avid whiskey drinker, and they’ll likely tell you that their brand is the best of the best. So it’s only natural to wonder if another brand can be as good as your favorite.
What Makes Old Crow Special?
Old Crow has been around since the 1800s and has a rich history of standing the test of time. This old standby of the liquor cabinet has the qualities that allow it to be “aged and mellowed” for ages. It also remains a bargain — give it or take what you pay.