The R.S. Lipman Company out of Nashville honors our seventh President, Andrew Jackson, with a pair of whiskies named after one of his nicknames – Old Hickory. One is a straight bourbon ($39.99), while the other is a blended bourbon whiskey ($29.99). Both are sourced from MGP in Indiana. The company is very transparent, with loads of information available online.
The name “Old Hickory” has a long history dating back to pre-Prohibition. R.S. Lipman bought the trademark in 2013 and resurrected the label. Even the Lipman family has a long history in the whiskey business, going back decades as merchants and distributors.
Let’s take a look at these releases.
Blended Bourbon Whiskey
Bottled at 80 proof, this release is a blend of 89% 4-year-old whiskey and 11% 2-year-old whiskey. The nose itself is slightly light compared to the straight bourbon, with fresh corn dominating, followed by light brown sugar and a touch of oak. Surprisingly, there’s a welcome spice on the entry. It’s not much, but I’m glad it’s there. Beyond that, there’s a light caramel and oak, but it seems a bit flat. Some oak spice shows up for a medium finish. There’s nothing wrong with this whiskey, but nothing will jump out and grab your attention. Between the two, stick with the straight bourbon.
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This release is bottled at a classic 86 proof. There’s no age statement, but there’s whiskey here aged between 4 – 7 years. The barrel influence hasn’t completely wiped away the spirit’s character. This oak is a bigger player on the nose, compared to this whiskey’s sibling. Sweet corn and creamy caramel show up to the party, along with a slight musty note. The higher proof makes a huge difference. This bourbon is richer and carries flavors more robustly. Oak spice, sweet corn mash and cinnamon all interact against a rich caramel background and spiced dough. An odd herbal note shows up briefly. The medium finish carries semi-sweet and spicy notes. The bourbon is a much better buy than the blended whiskey. Makes for a great mixer, but can handle itself as a sipper.