The music is spilling out the driver's side window, and I just took that turn a little too fast. Got some Public Enemy thumping as the soundtrack to my life in the burbs, while moms are pulling their kids back from the street. They clamp dishpan hands over their young ones ears and glare. A dad pauses with his lawn rake, but not too long, just long enough for an almost imperceptible nod that only I recognize. He knows. He sees a brother on the outside of this bourgeois clink.
The music lifts my spirits, taking me from this maze of identical white houses, to a place where I am not 40 something years old. I got no age, just a bad attitude, and a big black SUV. I ain't the police. Okay, maybe the whiskey police. Yeah, dats better. Uh-huh. I break all dem rules. Even grammatical and spelling ones.
As I listen to Chuck D tell it like it is (see above video - otherwise this post will not make any sense), I remember an interesting anecdote about his cohort in the band, Flavor Flav (the guy in the video who tells Chuck D "you gotta tell 'em just like dat" with a massive clock swinging from his neck).
In 1986, Chuck D's music career got its first big break in part by coming to the attention of Def Jam Records producer, Rick Rubin. Rubin liked Chuck's politically charged, socially conscious, music and wanted to sign him to his record label (remember records?). Chuck D insisted that Flavor Flav be signed too, as part of the same act. Rubin was confused and didn't understand where Chuck D was coming from. Flav wasn't the lead singer, composer or even playing an instrument. Of course, the real problem was that Rubin didn't understand what a hype man was. Flavor Flav was a great hype man and Chuck D knew it.
You see, a hype man is a guy who works the crowd, gets them pumped at live performances by way of his irrepressible enthusiasm. That enthusiasm is not necessarily singing, but verbally interjecting at just the right moment and often using call and response chants. Rubin wanted Chuck D, and if Flavor Flav had to be part of the package, then so be it.
|Flavor Flav in fine form as the best 'hype man' out there.
Old Grand-Dad Whiskey is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been around for a very long time. The advertising campaign for this whiskey seems to have died well before the arrival of the Beatles.
The orange label is cheap looking and the bottle cover is not a wood and cork cap, but rather a cheap plastic twist-off. The label looks out of style, last in vogue maybe in the late 1940's.
Speaking of facts, let me tell you about this bourbon I picked up in Bangor, Maine, at a grocery store for the grand sum of $16.99.
This bourbon dates back to 1882. It was created by Raymond B. Hayden, in honor of his grandfather (Basil Hayden Sr.), and named it in memory of him, a pioneer bourbon distiller, whose likeness appears on the label. Grand-Dad liked to distill his bourbon with a higher percentage rye mash bill and his grandson preserves this preference in this bourbon.
Today, Beam Global owns the brand and does not promote it hardly at all from what I can tell. The brand does not have its own website, nor does it get featured at whisky festivals much. Beam Global seem to pour a lot more marketing dollars into other products in their portfolio like: Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden's to name but a few.
Enter me. I am here to hype this bourbon!
Soft, corn, flowers, rainy evening air, some steak spice too.
Oranges, dry apricot, saddle leather and gentle spice of the rich/prickly rye that dominates very nicely. Old fashioned barley candy comes to mind.
Slight pepper, Kosher salt, and spiced rye, yeah that rye! Taste of country stream water where you can see the fish. Very clean finish with a hint of oak and thyme.
Value for Money!
Hell yeah! I paid $16.99! This is incredible value! This bourbon really has no flaws. At 43% ABV, it is sufficiently flavorful.
I am also astounded at the very dry flavor profile delivered for such a cheap price. At this price point, many whiskies are horribly sweet.
I derive far more enjoyment and pleasure drinking this bourbon than I did with Blanton's single barrel (triple the price) that was the subject of my last review (click here).
Highly drinkable neat. No need for ice or using as mix. To mix this bourbon is to waste it.
One last point I have to make about the low price. It's nice to know that there are a few great bargains to be had and this is one of them. One caveat. A reader has pointed out to me that Beam Global may reduce the ABV from 43% to 40%. This may really take a lot of the wind out of the sails of the flavor profile. We will wait and have to see if this comes to pass.
Besides being ridiculously reasonably priced, it is simply great bourbon. Wanna learn what the big deal is about bourbon? Old Grand-Dad is a great place to start.
This is a dry bourbon. It doesn't taste young or overly sweet, even though the ingredient whiskies probably are quite youthful. Who cares? The taste is great. Nice clean finish too.
The flavor profile has some nuances that cannot be regarded as simple. There's something going on here that requires another sip.
Drinking this bourbon, I can't help but think of my grandfather who grew up during the Great Depression. He would have been very pleased with this bourbon because it is a solid, flavorful drink, yet reasonably priced. I could see him sipping this with his "White Owl" cigars.
Don't miss out on this bourbon. Give it a go. You will not regret the decision.
Now go out and buy a bottle right now! Do it! I hope this hype gets you standing up, grabbing your wallet and headed to the nearest purveyor of fine spirits!
C'mon! Do it!
Just like dat!
C'mon! Do it!
Just like dat!
C'mon! Do it!
Just like dat!
C'mon! Do it!
Just like Dat!
(music and voice fade as I reach for the wife's grocery list and brake for the mall parking lot . . )
Copyright © Jason Debly, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Any and all use is prohibited without permission except for the following photo credits: (1) photo of steering vehicle taken by Jason Debly holder of all copyright; (2) "Harder than You Think" video by Public Enemy who hold all copyright; (3) Photo of Flavor Flav credit: Wenn; (4) Old Grand-Dad print ad from the 1940's with no copyright as it is now in public domain; (5) image still from The Ox-Bow Incident copyright held by 20 Century Fox; (6) bottle of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon taken by Jason Debly; (7) Bottle of Old Grand-Dad bourbon taken by Jason Debly. All images used are considered by the author to be significant in illustrating the subject matter, facilitating artistic/critical commentary, as it provides an immediate relevance to the reader more capably than the textual description.