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Old Elk Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes: Full Guide For 2023

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Ever tried any of the Old Elk’s expressions before?

If you have yet to try it, you must check out this Old Elk Bourbon review first to assess if this bottle will suit your style and preference. 

Made with the partnership of prominent distilleries, will Old Elk impress whiskey fans and beginners? Will it stand out from the vast brands in the liquor market? 

Let’s find out.

Overview of Old Elk Bourbon  

Man Holding Bottle of OlD Elk Bourbon

Old Elk is a facility located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Founded in 2013, it has quickly become a well-known and frequently talked about the company. 

The Old Elk shows the expertise of its Master Distiller Greg Metze, from the MGP Indiana, where the bourbon is distilled and aged for around five years before it’s bottled at the Old Elk Distillery in Colorado.   

 Quick Facts 

DistilleryOld Elk Distillery/MGP Indiana/Colorado Bourbon Distilleries
Classification & RegionBourbon/USA
Alcohol Proof88-proof
Mash Bill51% corn, 34% malted barley, 15% rye 
Age Statement5-year-old 
ColorMedium Amber 
Rating8/10
Average PriceAround $50 (Straight Bourbon)

What’s Old Elk Bourbon? 

Glass of Old Elk Whiskey

Old Elk Bourbon is bottled at 88-proof at its distillery in Colorado.

The Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey is known for its high malted barley content, which we consider a non-traditional bourbon whiskey. 

“A spirit doesn’t have to be made in Grandpa’s barn to taste good, and it just has to be made right. Despite what some whiskey snobs believe, MGP makes some spirits worth savoring.”

— MGP, Indiana-Based Distillery.

But other than that, Old Elk has lots of bourbons and rye expressions to offer, like our favorites from the brand: 

  • Straight Wheat Bourbon – Old Elk’s wheated bourbon at 92-proof
  • Single Barrel Mission Select – Barrel-proof wheated bourbon at 112.8-proof
  • Straight Rye Whiskey – 95% rye and 100-proof  

What Does Old Elk Bourbon Taste Like? 

Nose 

Old Elk bourbon has sweet and light components from cinnamon and chocolate with the classic rich bourbon character of caramel and oak notes from the traditional recipes. 

Palate

The smooth taste profile is what makes Old Elk an easy-drinking spirit.

The velvety palate is immediately apparent; then, at the slow cut, it covers the mouth with other flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and honey notes. 

Finish

On the finish, the vanilla and caramel flavors linger with the sweetness of brown sugar, baking spice, and the spicy essence of a bit of rye spice and black pepper. 

Our Thoughts 

Pouring Bottle of Old Elk Bourbon on a Glass

First Sip

While it looks like something extra on the glass, on the initial sip, it’s a simple bourbon with sweet and fruity hints. The flavor is good, though, true to its tasting notes.  

Second Chance

But, on the second time, the honey and extra barley notes show up with a little hint of spiciness, which elevates the spices. 

How it delivers and generates sweet notes on the palate could be better, as this is comparable to Maker’s Mark and Old Forester.  

Why We Like It 

  • This straight bourbon, with a high malted barley [1] content, is unique to most bourbons. 
  • We like how Master Distiller Greg Metze blends this whiskey beyond the traditional way.
  • It’s more on the sweet notes, but the oak spice is well incorporated into the flavors. 

Drawbacks 

  • We’re not satisfied with how this Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon finishes. It’s short and not remarkable. 
  • We’ve tried adding a few drops of water, which mutes the pleasant aroma. 
  • Nothing special aside from its high barley content. 

Old Elk Bourbon Rating 

Old Elk Wooden Barrel

We give Old Elk Straight Bourbon a 4-star rating. Although there’s not much special, it’s carefully crafted (with the collaboration of the blending house and the distillery itself).

You can expect premium quality, which suits special occasions. Also, if you like mixing drinks, Old Elk whiskey [2] is also a great addition.   

Would We Buy It Again? 

Yes, we would rebuy a bottle. It’s widely available, so it’s easy to find a bottle of this spirit. 

Although it’s high-priced compared to other bourbons with the same profile, Old Elk’s value proposition is reasonable and rightful for its quality and character.

Yes, it has flaws, but it’s still a good experience. 

FAQs 

Where does Old Elk source their bourbon?

Old Elk source their bourbons from the MGP Distillery in Indiana. 

When was Old Elk bourbon made?

Old Elk was made in 2013 when Curt Richardson, an entrepreneur, decided to try craft distilling. 

Final Thoughts 

Old Elk bourbon is a simple yet unique whiskey expression.

It’s pretty interesting that will surely appeal to beginners due to its sweet profile with oak hints and slight rye spiciness.

For experienced drinkers, your style and preference will dictate if you like this spirit. If you’re looking for complex, rich, and deep notes, this is not for you. 

However, if you appreciate light spirits, then this is something you need to try. Just don’t expect too much from this spirit, but it gives quite a good experience.  

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/malting 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/bourbon-whiskey 

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