Perusing some old magazine ads from the 1950s/1960s (don’t ask), I couldn’t help but notice that there used to be a plethora of bourbon brands named “Old” something-or-other. Examples include
Old Taylor Old Thompson (actually blended whiskey) Old Charter
Maybe this is an unanswerable question, but what happened to all these brands? In bars nowadays I generally see Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Makers Mark, Knob Creek, Woodford, and maybe a couple of others. Mind you, I don’t look at the well bottles - are there any “Old” bourbons hiding out down there? Is this just a case of “out with the old, in with the new?” or is there a particular reason people don’t drink “Old” bourbons anymore?
I’m not sure, but maybe the “old” naming convention in America had something to do with the American standard for Bourbon, Jack Daniels “Old No. 7 Brand” which is still prominent on every Bottle of Jack.
I regularly drink Old Crow and Old Grandad, depending on how much cash I have.
I remember a throwaway gag in a Woody Woodypecker cartoon in a bar, which displayed a brand, Old Post Mortem: I don’t know whether they’re saying it kills you, or that the alcohol content is high enough to use for sterilizing instruments. Probably both. The comedy came from the juxtaposition of Latin words with the old English of whiskey from the UK/US.
And don’t forget Old Ned. I recall a cartoon from the 1950’s: the bartender held a bottle out to a customer and said, “Now if you really want something old…” The bottle had a face on it, and the face’s beard had grown way beyond the picture, even beyond the bottle.
The only other ‘Old Ned’ reference I remember is Mr. Peterson (Dr. Hartley’s patient) on the Bob Newhart Show, who declared his intention to “raise Old Ned” when going out for a night of drinking.
They are all still available for sale at my local Bevmo. Old Grand-Dad Bonded (100 proof) and Old Weller Antique (127 proof) are excellent bourbons. Old Forester Birthday is highly limited and highly delicious.