If you’ve ever opened a bottle of bourbon, you understand the delicate subtleties that the aroma and flavor of the mix give to you. Bourbon is a very intricately crafted drink selection that comes from many brands, flavors, and more. Every bourbon drinker has their own preferred taste and flavor preference when it comes to which selection they find most appealing.
There are a lot of different factors and elements that you must take into consideration in order to decide on which bourbon variety is your favorite. Tasting bourbon is like art, every intricacy and nuance should be taken in and savored as no two glasses are ever alike.
There is a wide range of different bourbon brands and selections out on the market for you to choose from, all of them have their own unique and distinctive flavor attributes and taste profiles that set each one apart from the rest. Since there are so many different options for you to choose from, making the final decision about which bourbon selection is just right for your particular taste preferences and desired drinking style can be quite difficult.
One of the leading affordable bourbon brands currently available is Old Crow; Old Crow is a bottom-shelf bourbon option that got its start during the 19th century. This bourbon is crafted with excellent distillation techniques and brewing standards which yield a fine, affordable bourbon that has a rich taste and texture. It’s made by Jim Bean distilleries and is typically aged for about three years before being bottled and placed onto store shelves.
If you’re looking for a great-tasting bourbon that is affordable and can go well with virtually any meal, Old Crow may be a great option for you. To truly enjoy what a particular bourbon has to offer, you must understand and become educated about the history of the company and distillers who produce this fine alcoholic beverage.
In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the important facts that you need to know about the overall flavor profile and predominant tastes that you’ll experience when opening up a bottle of bourbon. To begin, let’s take a look at a brief history behind the Old Crow bourbon brand so you can understand a little bit more about why this drink is so popular.
A Look at The Company: Old Crow Bourbon
Old Crow bourbon was started by a Scottish immigrant named James C. Crow, who started his Old Crow distillery in 1830. He worked for several different bourbon distilleries across the country which were commonly sold as “Old Crow” varieties which is where he got the name for this particular brand.
He eventually died in 1856 and so did the original bourbon although the W.A. Gaines and Company kept the same name. A legal dispute over who had the legal ownership of the name “Old Crow” occurred in 1915 and the Gaines company would go on to win the lawsuit. With the rich history of the brand, especially around the Civil War era period, many people love the taste and special mash bill that come as part of this bourbon option.
Now that we’ve given you a brief summary about the history of Old Crow, it’s time to take a look at exactly who this bourbon is for to help you decide whether or not it’s the right option for your desired taste.
Who is Old Crow Bourbon For?
Old Crow was specifically crafted for those individuals who want an affordable and great tasting bourbon. It has a “bottom-shelf” classification in terms of how it ranks amongst other bourbon options currently out on the market. It has a very smooth taste that is round and well-balanced in addition to having a lot of dynamic elements in terms of the ingredients used in the fermentation and distillation process.
The mash bill contains a variety of different ingredients and elements that combine to make a truly unique and one-of-a-kind bourbon that is unlike any other. One of the best ways that I’ve heard this bourbon described as, it as a lower quality version of what you would expect from a Jim Bean variety.
That is a very accurate way to describe the selection since it is also made by the same distillation company who produces Jim Bean. If you’re looking for a great-tasting bourbon that is affordable, smooth, sweet, and tangy, this selection is a great option for you to go with.
Now that we’ve covered exactly who this bourbon is for, it’s time to take a look at some of the main pros and cons related to the taste and overall profile of the selection.
Pros & Cons: Old Crow Bourbon
Each bourbon option that you find on stores shelves will come with its own individual pros and cons in terms of how it tastes and the overall flavor profile you should expect to receive when consuming the beverage.
This particular bourbon selection is no different and has its own advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider before purchasing a bottle of this brand if you’re a serious bourbon drinker that likes to take in all of the intricacies of ingredients and distillation processes used to create the bottles that you enjoy.
In the following section, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons in terms of taste and quality of the Old Crow brand so that you can decide on whether or not this is the right option for your needs.
- Made of at least 51% corn which adds a nice dynamic flavor and taste to the bourbon
- Aged in brand new charred oak barrels that infuse the bourbon with an amazing taste
- Aged for 3yrs+ to bring out the deep flavors and tastes infused into the selection by way of the ingredients and distillation process used to make this bourbon
- Very easy to drink not too harsh however distinguishable enough to recognize the brand
- Has a buttery finish that is easily recognizable and very unique to the brand itself
- Complex flavors that combine to make a well-rounded bourbon that goes well with almost any dish
- 40% ABV Alcohol by volume rating that makes it a rather moderate to strong bourbon when compared to other selections out on the market
- Sharp bite on the bourbon with hints of corn and leather
- The very short finish on the bourbon which can be a negative for some drinkers
- Little to no age infused, so the bourbon tastes very young or “fresh.”
All of these elements and factors make up the various pros and cons that you should expect to encounter when picking up a bottle of Old Crow. Since the bourbon is marketed as a low-proof option, one can’t really expect too much in terms of taste and quality out of it however that is not to say that this bourbon option does not pack a very powerful and addictive punch because it does.
It all depends on your preferred tastes and preference, if you like a new and unaged yet robust bourbon that isn’t too complex and doesn’t contain too many different varying ingredients, this may be a great option for you.
All-around, this bourbon is very smooth and easily palatable, which is why so many people enjoy drinking this selection in comparisons to other popular brands out on the market. Now that we’ve gone over all of the main pros and cons to expect from this particular bourbon when drinking, it’s time to take a look at some of the general tasting notes and flavors that you can expect to find inside of every bottle.
Key Tasting Notes: Old Crow Bourbon
The predominant taste of any bourbon will largely depend on the specific ingredients used in its mash bill and the specific form of distillation that the alcohol undergoes before being aged and bottled.
Everything from the collection and grinding of the grains to the fermentation and distilling off the final mash bill will have a significant impact on the overall quality of bourbon that you drink.
Before going out to purchase any specific bourbon option, it’s important to become educated about all of the various tasting notes and elements that go into crafting the bottle you’re picking up.
In the following section, we’re going to give you an in-depth review and analysis of the distinct tasting notes that are a part of this bourbon option. Make sure you read this entire section in full to ensure that you’re picking up a bottle of whiskey that is crafted to suit your specific preferences and flavor interests.
This bourbon has very corn and caramel dominant flavors that give it a very unique sweetness. It has an underlying buttery flavor that enriches the overall blend in a way that simmers on your tongue. It also has a small hint of citrus-infused throughout the body of the bourbon, which adds a nice opposing taste to the overall blend increasing its complexity and versatile bourbon.
This bourbon does not have the typical vanilla undertones that you would expect from most very affordable bourbons on the market, which is a major factor that separates it from other readily available selections.
It also has a slight hint of oak sprinkled into it however the oak is not that prominent in the overall blend. You will also find a slightly medicinal taste to this bourbon, the taste profile of this bourbon is very young, and at times it can seem a bit chaotic.
When you mix it with a mixer option, the vanilla underlying the entire recipe comes out more than other options. Overall the blend on this bourbon feels wild at times; however, it is still very satisfying going down.
You can also find a lot of subtle honey flavoring and a waxy aroma that presents itself as soon as you open the bottle. The smell of this bourbon is also reminiscent of candy corn which adds great nostalgic value; however, it does not do much for the blend of the bourbon itself.
You will also find a subtle hint of citrus underneath all of the other flavors and tastes that you experience when drinking this selection. One of the most interesting taste variables about this bourbon is the fact that it has an almost raw pancake taste to it at times which composes most of the dominant profiles in this bourbon.
The finish on this bourbon is heavy and latent with a buttery popcorn flavor that translates into a caramel corn flavor. Once this transition happens, you will find that the finish on this bourbon goes back to the buttery popcorn flavoring you experienced at first.
At the end of this bourbon, you will find a grainy flavor that adds a nice balance to the blend overall. The summary of the finish on this bourbon can be described as being raw, smooth, and rich, which is something that is quite surprising for a bourbon of this quality.
This bourbon also has a very smooth and rich feel to it on the tongue which adds depth and versatility to an already wonky bourbon blend. If you’re looking for a bourbon that goes down well and isn’t too harsh on the throat, this is a great option for you as the finish, body, and feel all combine together nicely to provide you with a complex bourbon that tastes great and can be mixed with virtually anything.
Now that we’ve covered all of the most important variables when it comes to what taste and flavors are infused into this bourbon, it’s time to take a look at some of the core product aspects and factors that you can expect to encounter when consuming a bottle of this selection.
Product Specifications: Old Crow Bourbon
When you purchase a product, it’s important to understand the branding and marketing concept that went behind the final product you see on store shelves. Every liquor brand puts an insane amount of time into making sure that their products are original and enticing so that customers can easily associate their star qualities with the quality of products and selections that they offer.
Old Crow is the same, and you can tell that the company puts a lot of time into making sure that their marketing materials are consistent with the brand image they are trying to portray. In the following section, we’re going to break down some of the branding ideas and marketing tactics used by this bourbon brand so that you can get a better idea of the taste and other important elements.
This bourbon comes in a plastic bottle with a label that has a notable tagline which states that it is a “lightweight traveler” meaning that you can take the bottle with you virtually anywhere you go without worrying about mobility or carrying issues, although not recommended.
The bottle also has a built-in pouring spout which makes it easy for you to serve the drink to guests or pour a glass for yourself. Besides that, the bottle itself is pretty basic and doesn’t contain many different design elements which make it stand out.
On the front of the bottle, you can see the white label that has a background image of the well-known logo of the company. The company logo was derived from the Civil War era in which a regiment of Union soldiers was stationed in State College, PA, they petitioned the president at the time Abraham Lincoln and proclaimed that it was the only thing good to have ever come out of the south. They had a saying that went like “the crow with the oldest barely holds on to the barley forever” symbolizing their pride and honor in the brand.
Process That Leads to Bottling
This particular bourbon is made using a sour mash bill; this means that the leftover remnants of the yeast in the last batch will be transferred over to the new one in order to produce the bottles which have yet to go on shelves.
After the distillation process is complete, the bourbon is then aged in new charred oak barrels for no less than 3yrs, which gives it enough time to develop a rich flavor and deep taste. Since this bourbon is marketed as a “straight bourbon” it is highly regulated and controlled in terms of the processes that must be used in order for it to classify as so.
The alcohol itself has a very yellowish color to it which leads to the fact that this selection is considered a young bourbon. Most older bourbon mixtures will have a much darker tint to them which indicates the age of the barrel quite easily.
When you open the bottle, you’ll notice a hint smell of banana coming from the bottle which is largely due to the distillation process used which does not include wood. It has a thin body and a mid-viscous liquid taste which makes it go down easy without being too watery.
All in all, this bourbon is very young and soft in terms of the prominent flavors that you get when drinking it. If you’re in the mood for a smooth bourbon that goes great with a variety of different activities, meals, and much more, this option is definitely a winner in terms of budget and overall taste.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the most important packaging and product facts, it’s time to take a look at some of our top alternative recommendations if this bourbon simply doesn’t do it for you.
If after reading the information above you don’t think that Old Crow is the right bourbon for you, the following section is going to detail our top alternative recommendations for you so that you can enjoy the perfect glass of bourbon every time.
Keep in mind that all of these recommendations will vary in terms of their taste, price, and aging process, so consider your personal taste preferences before picking up any one of these options.
#1 Eagle Rare
Eagle rare is a master bourbon that is distilled and aged using nothing but the best in yeast, grains, and additives. Before any bottle goes onto the shelf, it must pass a rigorous safety inspection to ensure that it is up to par in terms of the standards that the brand holds.
This provides the consumer with confidence, knowing that each bottle they pick up will have the same distinct taste and flavor profile that they desire. This bourbon has a very distinctive taste and flavor profile that is like none other on the market today; it has notes of rich cocoa and honey which add a nice sensual aroma and smooth taste to the bourbon.
You will also find hints of orange peel and toffee which offset each other nicely and provide a nice delicate balance to the overall mix. You can even pick up on tastes of candied almonds and oak that provide a base of natural undertones which dominant the prominent flavor profile.
To finish it off, this selection has a dry finish that provides a nice lingering taste after consumption. It has won several medals and awards for being a well-crafted bourbon that tastes great and acts as a nice combination with meals.
#2 Ten High
Ten High bourbons is a high-quality sour mash bill composition that is built on tradition and master bourbon craftsmanship. This bourbon is carefully distilled and crafted which delivers a very smooth and distinct flavor that you won’t find in any other bourbon selection out on the market.
It is aged in mature white oak barrels that infuse a natural tone and woody aroma to the bourbon overall. This bourbon is also very affordable, which makes it a favorite amongst those drinkers who want a great-tasting whiskey without spending too much money.
#3 Ancient Age
Ancient Age has a rich history dating back to 1946 when the bourbon got its start as a powerhouse in the whiskey market. It is an 80 proof variety that is distilled suing barley malt, corn, and rye which provide a deep, rich, and robust flavor profile to the selection overall.
It’s a very smooth yet balanced bourbon that has its complex parts which makes it even throughout. The primary taste notes that you’ll pick up on are caramel and vanilla as they infuse a beautiful aroma and plentiful taste on the tongue when consuming.
Bourbon /40% ABV / Kentucky, United States Since 1946 this bourbon has been held in high regard. 80 proof and distilled from corn, rye and barley malt, it’s smooth and simple, yet robust in its own way.
Bourbon /40% ABV / Kentucky, United States
Since 1946 this bourbon has been held in high regard. 80 proof and distilled from corn, rye and barley malt, it’s smooth and simple, yet robust in its own way.
You’ll also find hints of corn and toffee that add a hard grain opposed onto sweetness that delivers a unique taste that is trademark to the brand. There is also hints of spice and citrus in this bourbon which round out the entire flavor profile of this selection quite nicely.
If you’re looking for a fresh, rich, and tasty bourbon that has been proven to be delicate on the tongue throughout time, this is the perfect option for you.
Now it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when it comes to Old Crow.
With the Old Crow Bourbon, there are endless combinations that you can make, if you don’t want to drink it plain. You can start by adding cola with ice or even make an Old Fashioned cocktail, it’s all up to your preferences.
The Old Crow Bourbon has a neither high nor low rating; it has standard 40% ABV rating which is typicall for most bourbons.
No, but this bourbon is rated as one of the best which comes with an affordable price. Others that also belong on the list are Evan Williams, Zackariah Harris, and Early Times Kentucky Whiskey Bourbon.
Not really. You should use it only if you are on a really tight budget and you want to solely use it in cocktails. If you are planning to do plain drinking, I would definitely suggest trying other brands such as Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam (which truly deliver!)
Our Honest Opinion
If you’re looking for a bottom-shelf bourbon selection that is affordable and great-tasting, it’s a hit or miss when talking about Old Crow. While some people really enjoy its taste, others despise it as a cheap bourbon that shouldn’t be sold.
The final decision will all come down to exactly what you’re looking for in a bourbon. In our opinion, other well-crafted affordable options such as Ancient Age exceed the quality of this selection, but Old Crow will get the job done.
Use all of the information in this article to help you make the right decision about which bourbon variety will meet your exact taste presence. We’ve covered all of the prudent facts that you need to know about Old Crow the brand and whether or not it’s worth your money.
Always make an informed decision and take into consideration the key highlights we pointed out so that you don’t waste your money on a bourbon you won’t enjoy.
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