The whiskey marathon title for perseverance and grit undoubtedly belongs to Old Overholt. Founded in 1810, it is the oldest continuously maintained brand of whiskey in the United States.
Old Overholt is a 3-year aged rye whiskey bottled at 80 proof, available at most liquor store. Look for it around the mid-bottom shelves!
Let’s backtrack a bit…
Old Overholt was actually a person. Henry Oberholzer immigrated to western Pennsylvania around 1800 with his family. At the time, Pennsylvania was the hot bed for whiskey production as the rye grew mightily. I suppose the “Oberholzer” was a challenge for the drinking patron as was his name was shortened to Overholt. The trend of shortening words while discussing whiskey seems to be a trend dating back to the origins of whiskey.
The name Old Overholt actually didn’t come to pass until 1888 when Henry’s great grandson was running the business. They also added a picture of Abraham Overholt, Henry’s son, at that time. His picture is still found on the label today.
Old Overholt was a national brand by 1900 and one of the largest in the country. Popular and steadfast, they made it through wars producing industrial alcohol, and prohibition through a “medicinal use permit.” Thus, medicinal pot stores were WAY behind whiskey in this nifty little loophole.
Whiskey started a nose dive after the wars and by 1960 Old Overholt was the last remaining national rye whiskey brand. In 1987, James B. Beam Distilling Co purchased the brand and moved production from Pennsylvania to Kentucky. It maintains production there today.
Enough with history lesson, please…HOW ABOUT SOME FUN FACTS!
Old Overholt was the preferred drink of old western gunslingers Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo. As if you needed another reason to watch the cinematic masterpiece Tombstone!
Not a western fan? President’s JFK and Ulysses S. Grant each had a bottle of Old Overholt as their go-to. Though Grant likely had a few cases at a time under his desk!
Boom! Another shot of knowledge!