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Old Overholt Rye vs Old Overholt Bonded: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Old Overholt Rye vs Old Overholt Bonded in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Old Overholt Rye

old-overholt-rye
NoseMint, rye spice, oak
PalateRye spice, mint, vanilla, oak
FinishCaramel vanilla
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toKnob Creek Rye

The nose is pleasantly sweet with a hint of mint and oak.

On the palate, the Old Overholt displays a thin body as it feels watered-down. Flavor is moderately spicy, rich in oak, mint and vanilla.

The finish is short-lived, a bit warm, but nothing terrible, with some caramel and vanilla notes.

The Old Overholt is an easy drinker, mild on the spice due to the low rye presence in the mash. The thin body is a let-down although it has some pleasing warmth on the finish making a decent sipper.

This is not the best whiskey for cocktails as the thin body, the low-proof and the mild rye spice don’t add much value to a cocktail.

This is a very basic rye whiskey that might make a good choice to get introduced into this type of whiskey due to its affordable price.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Overholt Rye:

  • Aged for 3 years in oak barrels.
  • The distiller does not disclose the percentages of grains used in the mash but the Old Overholt only carries around 51-60% of rye.
  • Henry Overholser was a German Mennonite farmer who moved to Pennsylvania in the 1800s.

Old Overholt Bonded Rye

old-overholt-bonded
NoseCaramel, cherry blossom, vanilla, ethanol
PalateNutty, creamy, rye spice
FinishRye bread, cacao, peanuts and baking spice
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toRittenhouse Rye, Knob Creek Rye

There is alcohol on the nose, along caramel sweetness and cherry blossom.

On the palate, the Old Overholt has a good creamy texture. The first sips are hot and biting, although as you let it develop it becomes sweeter, a nutty hint shows up, along clove and baking spice.

The finish is surprisingly long, spicy, with cacao and peanut note and pleasantly warm.

The Old Overholt is a bit sharp on the nose, but drinks less hot than it smells. Flavor is surprisingly complex, with a good creamy body and has some interesting flavors.

It’s a bit hot but nothing that can’t be tamed with a splash of water making a rewarding sip. It reminds me in many ways to the Rittenhouse which I have in high regard.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Overholt:

  • Aged for 4 years in American oak casks.
  • Bottled in bond means that the whiskey was produced in one distillation season, by one distiller, at one distillery.
  • Gold Medal at the 2020 International Spirits Competition.
  • Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of 2020.
  • Legend says that JFK was fond of the Old Overholt.

Old Overholt Rye vs Bonded: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Old Overholt Rye$17
Old Overholt Bonded$26

Old Overholt Rye vs Old Overholt Bonded: Which is better?

Bonded is an improvement over the regular version

  • Bonded has a much higher proof that brings a satisfying warming sensation, along a nice thick body and good tasting notes. We could say that everything is in it’s right place regarding the Old Overholt Bonded Rye.
  • If you feel it warm all it needs is a dash of water to become better. I’d rather buy a whiskey that can be tuned-down than one for which is there is nothing that can be done to get better.

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