Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey Repositioning

Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey has announced a series of product evolutions that pay homage to the brand’s historical roots.

Beginning March 2020, the classic Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey will transition to a non-chill filtration process and increase proof from its current 80 to 86. The updated liquid more accurately reflects a pre-prohibition style, the company says, a reference to the past of Old Overholt.

“Old Overholt is an incredibly resilient brand that has stood the test of time for three reasons: It’s always been a quality whiskey, it’s embraced its own evolution throughout history, and it’s consistently been affordable,” says Tim Heuisler, American Whisk(e)y Ambassador for Beam Suntory. “These updates will only better serve the bar community that first adopted Overholt years ago. We’re taking the trusted, quality whiskey that we all know and love and making mindful improvements to help it standout even more as a cornerstone of American Rye.” 

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The Old Overholt packaging will also undergo adjustments. These include: factual embellishments added to the label, including “Born in PA” and “Made in KY” as a nod to Old Overholt’s 200+ year journey; a red closure cap in place of the current black tops, which more closely resembles the original bottles; and most notably, a re-illustrated portrait of Abraham Overholt on the front label.

Most recently depicted with a grin, Abraham will now exhibit a frown – an accurate translation of his demeanor as pictured in historical portraits from his Southwestern Pennsylvania home and on previous labels dating back to 1888, the company says.

“We’re making Abe ‘grumpy’ again,” said Heuisler. “After extensive research into Old Overholt’s history, we noticed Abe’s likeness on the bottle began smiling little by little over time, likely because his unfriendly scowl was at one point deemed off-putting for a consumer. But, the records show that Abe was a resourceful, hardworking, grumpy man— one who made a really reliable whiskey. This is our way of doing right by him and his legacy.”

In addition to the updates being made to its core variant, Old Overholt will apply the same label and filtration updates to its Bottled-In-Bond expression. Old Overholt will also unveil a 114-proof four-year-old rye, and a 92.6-proof 11-year-old rye whiskey, later this year.

These limited releases will be available in select markets of historical significance to the brand.

Updated bottles of Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey and Old Overholt Bottled-In-Bond Rye Whiskey will be available in March in all major markets nationwide for suggested retail prices of $17.99 and $24.99, respectively — a $1 price increase.

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