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Overholt honours Pennsylvania roots with new whiskey

A Overholt features a Monongahela-style mash bill consistent with Overholt’s historic distillation practices.

A. Overholt features a mash bill of 80% rye and 20% salted barley, the first whiskey from Beam to include no corn whatsoever.

Few American whiskey brands are as iconic as Old Overholt, which was founded by Abraham Overholt in West Overton, Pennsylvania in 1810. Beam Suntory purchased the brand in 1987, moving production to Kentucky. 

However, in recent years, Beam has committed to the brand’s Pennsylvania roots, partnering with the West Overton museum to preserve the whiskey’s long and rich legacy. To that end, Beam has announced the release of A Overholt, a straight rye whiskey made with an 80% rye and 20% malted barley mash bill, consistent with the Monongahela-style produced by Abraham Overholt more than two centuries ago.

“With over 200 years of exceptional craftsmanship, Overholt is ingrained in American history with its industrial roots and as a spirit that has set the industry standard since inception,” said Freddie Noe, eighth-generation master distiller at the James B Beam Distilling Co, said.

“The newest launch is the result of highly crafted whiskey, informed and inspired by generational expertise, and I’m honoured to steward this brand forward while paying homage to its past and our shared commitment to American whiskey innovation.”

A Overholt is bottled at 47.5% ABV and priced at US$40. It is available across the US from this month, and features notes of caramel, sandalwood, and caraway on the nose, with brown butter, honeysuckle and clove on the palate.

Beyond partnering with the West Overton museum, Beam has also invested in broadening the Overholt portfolio. In 2020, the core Old Overholt expression received an increase in both proof and age, while also becoming non-chill filtered. A cocktail staple for its flavour-to-cost ratio, the increased proof was made with bartenders and on-premise programmes in mind. That same year, Overholt re-released its Bonded expression, the new version marked by a red cap. 

Beam has also added limited expressions to the Overholt line in recent years, typically available in Pennsylvania and Ohio only. This has included Old Overholt 114 proof and 11-year-old cask strength. The new A Overholt release comes in a bespoke bottle meant to evoke Abraham Overholt’s time. 

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