Nah ya’ll best be lihstnin’ right’n proper, ‘cuh I ain’t ‘bout tuh be sayin’ dis nahn tahms over. Okay so I’m no Stephen King when it comes to transferring American accents into written form, but who gives a darn. Anyway, what I won’t be saying over and over again is this (which just happens to be the perfect way to drink Old Crow): buy a copy of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (the whole series), grab yourself a glass – ‘n ya’ll better not make it too fancy, either – and a bottle of Old Crow, pour the latter into the former and proceed to slap a Kris Kristofferson CD in your player, then sit yourself down in the most comfortable seat you have. Let Kris do his thing, take a deep sip from your glass then throw it into the wall and start drinking straight from the bottle, you’ll never be more ready to immerse yourself into the fantastic story telling of Mr. King.
Back to the past: the story starts with James Crow – a Scotsman who fled our wet hills, presumably to live a life without the constant need for a raincoat (the weather has been awful around here these past few days – I’m not bitter…). A skilled distiller, he came to practice his trade for various employers and the result was sold under the name ‘Crow’ or ‘Old Crow’; a brand which belonged to no particular distiller until 1915, when Gaines won a dispute over its ownership. Its claim to fame comes from it being one of Kentucky’s first bourbons, and in fact being the first sour mash whiskey.
Swiftly returning to present day, it should be mentioned that Old Crow is an exceedingly cheap whiskey. So far as I know, a 25oz bottle will set you back around $6 in the US, which obviously means it not exactly top shelf stuff. Unfortunately, once it hits UK shelves you will have to pay rather more – about £20 (roughly $30 and hence a hefty 5 times as expensive), which makes it more expensive than a 24oz bottle of Rittenhouse, while only being a couple of quid cheaper than a bottle of Elijah Craig 12.
The nose is fairly straight-forward with corn, caramel, straw and some alcohol. On the palate it doesn’t necessarily get much more exciting, there’s some biscuit in there along with some peppery spice, caramel, very ripe apple and a slightly earthy quality. The palate is better than the nose, but far from being one of my top bourbons. But, if I could pick a bottle up for $6 rather than £20, I would probably make darn sure to keep one at home at all times. It’s cheap bourbon, and so far as cheap bourbon goes I think it ticks all the boxes. It’s the sort of thing I’d love to drink during a poker game in a rundown Kentucky bar.
Color: Rusty metal.
Nose: Corn, caramel, straw, alcohol.
Taste: Biscuit, caramel, very ripe apple, earthy, peppery spice.