Old Crow Reserve, 4 year old, 43%

Price: $12.00 Issue: Summer 2010 Reviewer: John Hansell

A new “upgrade” from the standard Old Crow, which is only three years old. Soft aroma of sweet corn, candy corn, vanilla, and light caramel, all following through on the palate. It finishes sweet (too sweet, actually), a bit grainy, and slightly hot. If this brand is meant to compete with Evan Williams, then this four year old should be the standard “Old Crow” and the Reserve expression should be more like five or six years old, because the standard Evan Williams bottling (with no age statement) is clearly superior to Old Crow Reserve. Old Crow Reserve is too sweet and lacks the oak notes needed for balance and complexity. Acceptable enough as a mixing bourbon or perhaps on the rocks, but I wouldn't drink this neat or with water.