Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye


Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Beam Suntory

Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery

Release Date: November 2023

Proof: 121

Age: 10 Years

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Amber

MSRP: $100 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Old Overholt is said to be America’s oldest continually-maintained brand of whiskey having been founded in West Overton, Pennsylvania in 1810. After World War II, Americans turned to clear spirits, and Old Overholt soon found itself as the only nationally distributed straight rye whiskey on the market. Despite being the only rye on the market, it struggled, and in 1987 was sold to James B. Beam Distilling Company. After the sale, production was moved to Kentucky.

Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye, also sometimes referred to as Old Overholt Extra Aged Rye, is the first cask strength release from the brand since the 1940s. As a show of recognition for that release, Beam released it at the same proof point as it was in 1940. All barrels were laid down in 2012 and aged in Warehouse V at Beam’s campus in Clermont, Kentucky.


Immediate scents of peanut brittle and boiled peanuts are striking and start the rye off in a precarious place. Peanuts in both taste and scent, can be quite powerful and even piercing, and are often found in Beam-distilled whiskey. As with this rye’s aroma, its peanut scent cuts through all of its other scents and is impossible to ignore. Thankfully the nose isn’t one-dimensional, with honey, caramel flan, spiced cherry/raspberry, and seasoned oak adding layers of depth that should win over the unconvinced. As such, it's a memorable aroma thanks to a collection of scents that work very well together, resulting in a unique sensory experience.


Peanut brittle carries over into the palate but is much lighter in nature. It’s joined by complementary flavors of browned butter, brown sugar, and sugarcane. A hefty amount of allspice is strung throughout the palate which nicely transitions into a stewed apple note that puts an emphasis more on its cinnamon than apples. The rye’s fullness of flavor truly comes out in the palate, enveloping your mouth with its rich and robust flavors.


Dry oak is introduced during the finish, but it refrains from being tannic. Layers of baking spices and cinnamon become more pronounced, doubling down on this particular style of rye. While rye spice was foreshadowed during parts of this sip, it’s at this point that big rye spice and white pepper notes wash over the finish, creating an additional flavor pop. The rye ultimately concludes on a satisfying chocolate note that fades in an adequate amount of time. Like the palate, it’s a flavorful affair offering big highs and short reprievals before ramping up again.


Beam bestowed a lot of attention on the Old Overholt brand in the early 2020s. Expanding their lonely standard release with a Bottled in Bond release, a 114 proof release, an 11 year old release, and even quietly increasing the standard release’s age statement from 3 to 4 years old. As exciting as it was to be a fan of the brand and finally see it receive some much needed attention, it also unfortunately revealed the cracks in the brand’s seams. The standard Old Overholt has generally been used as a base mixer, as its sip leaves a lot to be desired as it lacks a certain presence. As Beam expanded the brand with new releases, the same problems came with them, which typically resulted in what we called a “blasé sip.”

Thankfully, Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye does a lot to fix the brand’s wrongs. Starting with a pronounced peanut scented nose which carries over into the palate, to its overall full-bodied nature, this is a 10 year old rye that tastes uniquely its own. A lot of which, has to do with its overall lack of fruity notes. While it leans into the traditional rye style of baking-related spices, every part of the sip works to elevate this whiskey. Yes it’s only 7 proof points higher than the Old Overholt 114 Rye, but it's about what it does with those extra proof points combined with its age that makes the difference. The entire sip works as it takes advantage of its age combined with its deep flavors to make it truly come together.


It’s a great time to be a fan of high-aged rye. We have more options than ever, though the number pales in comparison to the number of high-aged bourbons available. High-aged rye and high-aged bourbon don't necessarily mean the same thing, and that’s where the price discrepancies between the two staples of American whiskey come into play. There are far more 10 year old bourbons available than rye, and their prices don’t typically hit over $100 (which Old Forester has been receiving pushback on for their 1924 release). Less high-aged ryes means a more premium price. Some will take issue with Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye’s $100 price tag, especially from the brand’s budget-friendly origins, but more recent releases have been trending upwards in price. Much like Templeton 10 Year Rye’s $80, it is definitely a fair value for what is on offer. Adding in Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye’s higher proof point, and that it's from Jim Beam as opposed to MGP or Canada, and the value definitely falls into more reasonable territory.


Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye is a hefty rye, packing in a high proof point, sizable age statement, and big flavors, which results in a rye with overwhelming staying power.

This is a great time to be a rye lover. More and more companies are expanding their portfolios and introducing rye in their lineups. But perhaps even more significant is the number of high aged ryes on the market, especially at 10 years old. Templeton 10 Year Rye, Michter’s 10 Year Rye, and Parker’s Heritage Cask Strength Rye were all released in the last 12 months, and are all great tasting ryes that offer a completely different flavor profile compared to Old Overholt 10 Year Cask Strength Rye.

Old Overholt leans much more in the baking spice territory and thanks to a high proof point, is full flavored and extraordinarily robust. There aren’t a lot of 120+ proof rye whiskeys released in any given year, and even fewer with a double digit age statement, which makes Old Overholt stand out by default. But it’s what Old Overholt does with its proof and age combined with its flavor profile that results in a great tasting rye. We’re perhaps in a mini golden age for ryes right now as I can’t remember a time with so many noteworthy releases that each have something unique to say, and back it up with exceptional quality. Beam found success by learning from the failures of the prior 114 Proof and 11 Year old releases. They combined the two, cranked the proof, lowered the age and found magic. It comes at a cost, but Beam found exactly what the brand is actually capable of. Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye sheds the brand’s blasé reputation and comes out with a whiskey that is bold, original, and best of all, memorable.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
360 video

Written By: Eric Hasman

March 15, 2024
photo of author
Available at these retailers
Old Overholt Cask Strength 10 Year Rye
Also Check out
No items found.
Reviews By This Author
Recent Reviews
Recent Articles
  • Exclusive Content
  • new content summary
  • bourbon in the news
  • social media roundup
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyEthics PolicyCommenting Policy