This bottle of Old Crow Bottled In Bond is the National Distillers stuff. Jim Beam bought these guys in 1987 and almost immediately shut down the distillery. This was a bad idea and for my tastes the brand has never recovered. If you want to see exactly what I mean by that check out my review of the modern Old Crow.
For those of you who might not know, even if it is not a bottled-in-bond bottle, you can identify these ND bottles by the UPCs. The first five numbers on a National Distillers UPC is 86259 whereas the first five numbers on a Jim Beam UPC is 80686. If there is no UPC then it’s likely from the 70’s and pre-dates ND’s demise by a good decade or so.
While we’re on the subject if you’re looking for more info on dating a bottle of whiskey check out WhiskeyID. It’s a good site to find out more about this type of thing.
Old Crow Bottled in Bond Review – circa 1980
Distiller: W.A. Gaines “A division of the Old Crow Distillery Company” Frankfort Kentucky.
Age: At least 4 years
Price: N/A (dusty)
DSP KY 25 bottled at DSP KY 14
Yep, you guessed it, bourbon brown
This is what I am talking about. It has a touch of old bottle effect, but in general it’s really nice. Notes of allspice and chamomile tea. Soft oak and wet dog waltz around a rose petal base. After about a minute a bit of a chemical quality checks in.
Spicy soft oak and some corn. That bit of plastic is really showing up here. I find myself liking it less and less.
More oak and plastic.
OK, here’s the deal. This whiskey needs a bit of time. For some reason older bottles of Old Crow, with the white plastic cap, can make the bourbon come across a bit chemically. This is even after the bottle has been opened and half emptied. The trick is to get the bourbon out of the bottle and let it sit in the glass before getting into it and often the plasticness will blow off. Though be sure to cover with a paper towel so no bugs try to commit suicide in the delicious bourbon.
After 30 mins in the glass.
Much better. The original nose comes over to the palate and then it gets buttery. The finish is old oak, touch of wood glue, corn syrup and butter as well.
Bottles like this circa 1980 Old Crow Bottled in Bond are always a crapshoot. Sometimes old bottles are great and other times they are completely ruined by the plastic cap. I’m happy this one came through, but I would never pay a whole lot for a bottle of this for that very reason. Keep that mind when you’re out dusty hunting.