Old Tub Bonded Bourbon Whiskey Review

Old Tub Bonded Bourbon Whiskey Review

(photo by Outsider)

Before its namesake Jim Beam Bourbon, the Beam family was known for concocting Old Tub Bourbon at their Kentucky family distillery. In the 1880s, Beam bottled Old Tub, which became one of the first national brands. Before that, folks just filled their own jugs at the distillery—from the old tub (hence the name) where the mash was mixed and cooked.

In 1943, the Beam family changed the brand from Old Tub to Jim Beam. Of course, Jim Beam went on to become one of the best-selling bourbon brands in the world. And while you could still get 375mL bottles of Old Tub at the JB distillery, Beam began releasing 750mL bottles of Old Tub to liquor stores in 2020.

Jim Beam calls the 750mL bottles a “limited-edition release,” but the bonded bourbon seems to be commonplace. And the $23 price tag is hard to beat, so let’s pour a sip of Old Tub.

At a Glance

  • Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co.
  • Location: Clermont, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Age: Not Stated (at least 4 Years)
  • Mashbill: Not Stated
  • Proof: 100
  • MSRP: $23
  • Website
(photo by Outsider)

Old Tub Bonded: What We Say

Noselight ethanol, oak, brown sugar, sawdust
Palateoak, lavender, peach, apple, white pepper
Finishmedium-short, oak, lavender, orange zest, pepper
What You Can Expect to Pay$23-$28
Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, NeverLater
Outsider Rating75/100

The nose on Old Tub opens with light ethanol, followed by oak. A deeper nosedive reveals more woodiness. There’s not much more to it other than a little waft of sweetness in the form of brown sugar and a touch of sawdust. Not a whole lot here. But not bad.

On the palate, it’s more oak with a kick of floral lavender (both sweet and herbaceous). The sweetness kinda migrates to fruity notes of apple and peach, while the herbiness moves toward white pepper. It’s slightly astringent but perfectly sippable at 100 proof.

The medium-short finish yields more lavender, with just a bit of orange zest and pepper spice. At $23, it’s hard to be overly critical of Old Tub. While it’s not a complex sip, it’s a competent one.

(photo by Outsider)

What Jim Beam Says About Old Tub Bonded

The limited-edition offering is a nostalgic nod to where it all began for the Beam family over 140 years ago in Bardstown, KY, otherwise known as the Bourbon Capital of the World. This unique bourbon has tasting notes that include oak, complemented along with grain, and a warm caramel. It has a lingering color of golden citrine gemstone with shades of honey and an aroma that carries initial waves of oak followed by vanilla and grain.

Recommended Sip

Old Tub is a competent sipper. However, this bottle is being earmarked for Old Fashioneds. In fact, I’m mixing one now. Yup, Old Tub is a great base for an Old Fashioned. The lavender and orange zest complement the bitters and orange peel twist. Winner.

If You Like Old Tub, Try

(photo by Outsider)
  • Old Grand-Dad Bonded
  • Distillery: The Old Grand-Dad Distillery Co. (Beam Suntory)
  • Location: Clermont, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Proof: 100
  • MSRP: $24
  • Full Review

A buck or two more than Old Tub, Old Grand-Dad Bonded delivers a more enjoyable neat sip with tasty notes of cherry, citrus, honey, and cinnamon. In addition, OGD’s medium-long finish is superior, with hints of Honey Grahams and leather.