Dr. James Crow left Scotland for the United States in 1823. He invented the "sour mash" process (the use of spent mash to spark fermentation in a new batch) while working for colonel Willis Field at the Grier's Creek distillery. In the 1830's, he began selling his whiskey under the name "Crow" until his death in 1856. W.A. Gaines & Company kept "Old Crow" going until National Distillers Company acquired the brand in 1872. In 1987, it was sold to Jim Beam in 1987 (now Beam Suntory) and the old distillery was abandoned.
Old Crow was President Ulysses S. Grant's favorite bourbon, although the 1860's mash bill is as dead as "Uncle Sam" himself. These days Jim Beam uses its base mash bill for Old Crow, which is aged for 3 years at bottled at 80 proof.
Dr. James Crow "Old Crow"
$10 at ABC in Columbia, SC
Nose: Corn, old banana, tar, just a hint of alcohol.
Tasting notes: Corn, butter, very light oak.
Overall: D. Poor Old Crow. It's such a cool brand, but such a bad bourbon. The nose and flavor are predominantly corn, and there's an unpleasant mushy banana smell (I won't even say "aroma"). The body is pretty much non-existant and the finish is short and watery. My bottle of Old Crow will make a few dozen bourbon balls next Christmas, which I cant wait for.
Serious Eats (hilarious)