Whiskey Review: Old Hickory White Label - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Old Hickory White Label

Old Hickory White LabelEditor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

Old Hickory was, at one time, a historic whiskey label that was once popular with earlier generations of bourbon drinkers, but had since disappeared from the market. What’s being reviewed here today is Old Hickory Great American Whiskey  – White Label, the second of two whiskies we are trying under this brand. The first, the black label blend, is a combination of whiskies distilled and bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof), as opposed to their white label, which weighs in at 43% ABV (86 proof). Whiskies used in the latter blend are aged between four and seven years.

The label – owned by the R. S. Lipman Company – boasts 100% American grains utilized in the distillation of this spirit. The corn in particular is claimed to be sourced from within 250 miles of the historic Joseph E. Seagram distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana – you otherwise know it as MGP. Old Hickory White Label is available at a suggested retail price of around $30.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Amber-gold with thin legs.

Nose: Strong vanilla reminiscent of cream soda, light spice notes, hint of oak.

Palate: Lacking in the vanilla promised on by the nose. Subtly sweet but indistinct. Reminiscent of flat soda.

Finish: Equally brief and empty as the palate.


Vanilla gets a bad rap when it comes to describing character. Often synonymous with “boring” and “bland,” in reality, vanilla can be the lush, complex canvas upon which all other flavors can be amplified. Vanilla is exactly what greeted me when nosing Old Hickory in a Glencairn glass. However, in the glass is where the vanilla remained. There was a distinct lack of flavor when sipping this whiskey straight. There was nothing off or offensive about the palate whatsoever. The problem is there wasn’t much of anything at all. 

When expectations are not high to begin with, it becomes almost an accomplishment to underwhelm. This is where Old Hickory defines itself for me. It is a one trick pony that won’t take me where I want to go, as it never truly shows up at all. The angular, square bottle is all that saves this blended bourbon from falling off the table completely. While the literal vanilla flavor was expected, the pejorative use of the term is more appropriate in this case.



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