DSR – KY – 014: 1974 Old Mr. Boston Brand Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Mr. Boston Distiller
Location: Boston, Massachusetts; Albany, Georgia; Owensboro, Kentucky
Mash Bill: Unknown
Age Statement: 6 Years Old
Proof/ABV: 86 Proof/43% ABV
Color & Viscosity: This Old Mr. Boston presents dark auburn to light mahogany in color sitting in the glass. Tipping the glass to the side and back upright, the whiskey leaves a medium viscous line then develops into a thick lip. Legs are very slow to develop and drip laboriously down the sides of the tasting vessel.
Bottle Label Information:
Federal Tax Stamp
“U.S. Internal Revenue”
“U.S. Internal Revenue”
“Bottle Stamp Series 112”
State Tax Stamp
“Virginia A.B.C. Board”
“American Bank Note Co LITHD.”
“Old Mr. Boston Brand”
“Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Aged 6 Years”
“Eighty-Six Proof | 4/5 Quart”
“Bottled by Mr. Boston Distiller”
“Boston, Mass., Albany, GA., Owensboro, KY.”
“Spirit of 76”
“OMB Liquor Bottle No-33 1974”
Old Mr. Boston Distiller
Old Mr. Boston Distillery was founded in 1933 in Roxbury, Massachusetts by partners Irwin “Red” Benjamin and Hyman C. Berkowitz. The duo is best known for its so-called “Mixologist Bible” entitled Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s and Party Guide which was first published by Ben-Burk, Inc. in 1935. The distillery would continue business until the break out of World War II and the sale of the distillery to American Distilling Company in 1942. Not long after the end of the war, Hyman Berkowitz and his brothers would take back the distillery under the name Berk Brothers. Together, the brothers would open a distillery in Readville, Massachusetts which would eventually birth the Mr. Boston Distilling Company in 1953.
Expansion would continue in 1962 when Mr. Boston Distilling would acquire the Viking Distillery of Albany, Georgia. Viking (formally Paramount Distillers) was known for its brandies, gins and the occasional whiskey. Success would continue for Mr. Boston Distilling Company which eventually caught the attention of Glenmore Distillery Company in Owensboro, Kentucky. In 1969, Glenmore Distillery Company would purchase Mr. Boston Distilling Company and make them subsidiaries of the distillery. The Old Mr. Boston brand continues today under the name Mr. Boston and is known for its vast line of cordials, brandies, and the Old Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide.
How Did Rickhouse Ramblings Get This Bottle?
Rickhouse Ramblings acquired this decanter from an Estate Sale in 2021. The bottle was sealed with the tax stamp intact at the time of opening.
Tasting Date/Vessel: March 22, 2022 – Neat in a Glencairn glass
Christian: Old Mr. Boston Kentucky Straight Bourbon opens with an unbelievably sweet nose filled with dark rich flavors. Right off the bat, I am picking up sweet corn syrup or even maple syrup aromas. A second pass offers generous portions of vanilla, warm browned butter, dark brown sugar, and molasses – very similar to a molasses cookie with icing. There is a slight touch of ethanol that tickles the nose, but is in no way overbearing. Finally, I am noticing a hint of baking spice, perhaps allspice, that is present but almost indistinguishable.
Mike: As I begin to lift the glass to my nose, at about chin level, I detect rich aromas of honey soaked graham crackers followed by a soft transition to dark maple syrup. A swirl of the tasting vessel releases aromas of fresh cooked oatmeal, lightly sweetened with brown sugar. As the bourbon begins to settle, traces of vanilla sugar wafer cookies are identified. Pulling the glass back down to my chin, then giving the whiskey another gentle swirl, the sweetness of bubble gum develops, very Juicy Fruit-esque in flavor.
Christian: The mouthfeel on this bourbon from Old Mr. Boston is delicate and silky. The first touch of this whiskey to your tongue is a nice sweetness that briskly transitions to a dense punch of real leather and cinnamon. I am also detecting just a touch of freshly baked rye bread. Deep within the layers of flavor is a tinge of sweet syrup remnant from the nose. This whiskey is not super complex, but I find it to be rather tasty.
Mike: The sweetness of this Old Mr. Boston Bourbon can be tasted before it even hits your lips. A wonderful honeyed character explodes as the glass touches the palate. Immediately, the sweetness is overcome with loads of vintage baseball glove leather. This whiskey is dry and smoky mid-palate. A quick rush of black pepper spiciness is detected on the back end before settling to a soft syrupy quality.
Christian: Old Mr. Boston offers a short to medium finish that offers a satisfyingly wholesome hug. However, this is a very dry pour. The finish is rather simple overall – raw brown sugar, ginger, and just a touch of band-aide round out flavors left behind. There is a bitterness from oak tannin present but it is mild. Finally, clover honey, pepper, and a kiss of smoke remain on the palate long after the spirit has been enjoyed.
Mike: This offering has a very light and effortless finish, not surprising considering that it’s bottled at 86 proof. Gentle notes of cinnamon present then fade to bitter black licorice flavors. The bitterness quickly dissipates and I am left with a pleasing palate of buttered pancakes and maple syrup.
Christian: Going into this review of Old Mr. Boston Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, I really didn’t know what to expect. While doing my research, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to watch a less than stellar review of another iteration of Old Mr. Boston Bourbon. My experience was vastly different from those reviewers. I find Old Mr. Boston to be an easy sipper that is both approachable and delicate–a good pour to be enjoyed on a warm summer day. A fantastic nose opens the show with well rounded robust sweet flavors following thereafter. It is the finish that just seems to lose some steam in the overall experience. Overall, this was a damn good finale in our journey through four dusty decanters we had sitting around. Does Old Mr. Boston have the storied past and legend surrounding it like that of the Old Fitz, Old Cabin Still, and Rebel Yell? No! But did it hold its own in this experiment, thus deserving credit of its own for being a quality bourbon to be enjoyed with good friends? That would be a resounding YES!
Rating: 3.50 Rickhouses
Mike: There wasn’t much to go on from a historical perspective of this Old Mr. Boston bourbon. It’s relatively straightforward–distilled in Owensboro, KY and bottled in Boston, MA, perhaps the old Medley distillery in Owensboro (DSP-KY-10)? Nevertheless, I enjoyed this offering overall. There’s just something special about that aromatic nose with the peculiar mouthfeel and delicate finish. The abrupt vintage leather on the palate was a surprise considering the abundant sweetness this whiskey lends itself to overall flavor. This was a very cool month-long journey into bourbon history for Rickhouse Ramblings that not many get to take. I am really looking forward to learning more about Old Mr. Boston bourbon and I hope that some of our followers will share any knowledge they have about the brand.
Rating: 3.50 Rickhouses
One thought on “Review: 1974 Old Mr. Boston Brand Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
Thank you for your review. My wife just found one of these filled untouched that her father had. She was concerned regarding me trying it.