old grand dad blanton's straight from the barrel substitute

Is Old Grand Dad 114 A Good Alternative to Blanton's Straight From The Barrel?

old grand dad 114 vs blanton's straight from the barrel comparison header

There's a good reason...

Am I crazy for comparing Old Grand Dad 114 to Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel? In one way, yes because Blanton’s is 5-10x more expensive and more difficult to find, making this far from a comparison of equals. Well, Old Grand Dad is getting more difficult to find too…so there’s that slight overlap.
I’m doing this comparison because I noticed that Old Grand Dad 114 and Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel both have a distinctive earthy gingersnap note (and closeish ABVs), and that got me thinking about some possibly useful drinking advice.
This thought is less about which one is better (not useful), and more about how similar they are and whether Old Grand 114 even comes close to a decent-ish substitute / alternative given the unique gingersnap overlap and how much easier Old Grand Dad is to find. Old Grand Dad has also been mentioned as a Blanton’s substitute, so I’m curious to explore that too.
Let’s find out if Old Grand Dad 114 could be an acceptable Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel substitute / alternative in this Old Grand Dad 114 vs Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel comparison.

The table below outlines the two bourbons.
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How do they Compare?

ogd114 vs blanton's sftb radar
ogd114 vs blanton's traits table

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So is Old Grand Dad 114 an alternative?

old grand dad 114 vs blanton's straight from the barrel comparison winner
I’ll get two points out of the way first, because they’re not important for this comparison. First off, I prefer Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel. Second, I’m unfortunately still not a big fan of Old Grand Dad 114 even after trying it for a second time. It’s just so dry and unbalanced that it doesn’t do it for me, although I wish it did.
Now let’s move on to the important question of whether Old Grand Dad 114 makes a remotely acceptable Blanton’s SFTB substitute. The answer is both yes and no, depending on what you want.
The answer is yes because I can now confirm that both bourbons have a similar gingersnap cookie backbone made up of ginger, cardamom, and caraway seed. So if you’re looking for that specific set of savory, earthy, and spicy traits with some alcohol bite, Old Grand Dad 114 will do just fine as a Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel alternative. The similarities mostly end there though.
On the other hand, Old Grand Dad 114 isn’t such a good Blanton’s SFTB replacement because Old Grand Dad is so distinctively dry and earthy, the opposite of the intensely sweet, oily, and rich SFTB. Old Grand Dad is night and day less sweet, fruity, and oily, and packs-in more overall dryness, dry cracker, and roasted grains.
As a result, Blanton’s SFTB is mostly one-dimensional in one way while Old Grand Dad leans more one-dimensional in another. Old Grand Dad does have one slight advantage: its slightly lower ABV, still a hearty 57%, is surprisingly quite manageable. SFTB just hammers away at my tastebuds like Mike Tyson in his prime.
Old Grand Dad 114 is like Blanton’s Straight From the Barrel if you stripped away most of the sweetness, fruitiness, and oiliness, then infused dried grains and added a little water. So at the end of all of this, OGD is sort of a directionally similar alternative, but isn’t either.
Alex author

Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Comparison


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