Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve Barrel Proof Whiskey Review

This is a limited release of contract-distilled whiskey with a higher-than-average age. As such, it is priced at somewhat of a premium.

Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve Barrel Proof Whiskey Review


  • DISTILLER: Bottled by Old Hickory Spirits, distilled at Joseph E. Seagram’s, Lawrenceburg, Indiana (MGP)
    • 99% Corn
    • 1% Malted Barley
  • AGE: 10 years (majority of the blend is 13 years old) in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • YEAR: 2023
  • PROOF: 117 Proof (58.5% ABV)
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com


SHARE WITH: Curious drinkers with an interest in non-traditional whiskey. Drinkers like me who have not had a lot of experience with corn whiskeys.

WORTH THE PRICE: This is a limited release of contract distilled whiskey with a higher-than-average age. As such, it is priced at somewhat of a premium. I had trouble tracking the MSRP, with the ~$60 being a guess based on online prices. A good pour and not a bad choice if you are fond of the corn whiskey category.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I would rate this a BAR, particularly at the prevailing prices. I would lean toward a bottle if I didn’t find that, for me, there are better whiskeys at this price point. The category of corn whiskeys are is not typically at this level. This would be it if there were such a thing as premium corn whiskey.

OVERALL: As I have said, I have not had much experience with corn whiskey. Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve definitely exceeded my expectations. I found the nose to be predictably corn-forward with notes of vanilla and apple. Corn also showed up strongly in the taste with a significant burn, some surprising grassy notes for a ten whiskey, and the sweetness from the bourbon barrels. A medium finish with the lingering effects of the bourbon barrel aging. With a few drops of water, it further sweetens the nose and smooths out the burn. Still very corn-forward and a little more sweetness on the finish.

In my estimation, this expression does not benefit from the high proof. It doesn’t have enough depth to overcome the burn. Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve is very good compared to other corn whiskeys I have tried.

All that being said, really well made and at a great age in ex-bourbon casks, it does really show up in-depth and flavor. I am a big MGP fan and the expression does not disappoint. It is just taking a very limited starting point and pushing it as far as anyone could reasonably expect. I recommend it at a lower price point, or if you find it on-sale.


Old Hickory Hermitage Reserve Barrel Proof Whiskey

Intriguing aromas of vanilla bean, banana brioche, marmalade, and sweet corn brulee with an essence of sandalwood. Graceful on the palate featuring flavors of caramel corn, toffee, and orange zest with a hint of cocoa, all gently wrapped in warm, subtle notes of oak. The extended aging lengthens the taste profile and results in an incredibly smooth, approachable barrel-proof whiskey, matured in 18-year-old ex-bourbon barrels.

Our Barrel Proof has been awarded the Best in Class and Double Gold from the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Awards Competition.


Old Hickory was founded in 1868 in Fayette County, Kentucky. The distillery was called Old Hickory Distillery and is where our brand began. This distillery was built by John Robb, who produced "Old Hickory Sour-Mash Kentucky Copper" whiskey.

​Old Hickory moved states in 1896 to Chattanooga, Tennessee by E.R. Betterton & Co., producing Old Hickory as a nod to the former president, Andrew Jackson, and the strength and resilience of the American people. Andrew Jackson had a history of distilling whiskey and began distilling in Tennessee years before Old Hickory. Old Hickory spread outside of the south, for whiskey lovers everywhere to enjoy.

​Shortly after the creation and spread of Old Hickory, fine spirit lovers were very disappointed when the prohibition began in 1910 in Tennessee. Whiskey was banned from being produced for 10 years before the Federal ban of alcohol in 1920.

​After years of being banned, the prohibition was repealed and spirit lovers everywhere rejoiced! Publicker Distilling Co. began to apply their technologies to distilling and producing beverage alcohol spirits. In 1933, they formed a subsidiary company, Continental Distilling Corporation, producing Old Hickory bourbons.

​In 2011, the R.S. Lipman Company brought Old Hickory back home to Tennessee when Robert Lipman resurrected the brand. Recognizing the long history of Old Hickory, Lipman selected Seagram's master blender, Pam Soule, to produce mash bills in Lawrenceberg, IN in a previously used Seagram facility to ensure the authenticity of the brand.

​Old Hickory is a tried and true legend, being around for over 100 years, we've seen it all.

Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.