Review: Old Tub Bourbon

Old Tub was an old Jim Beam brand that dates back to the late 1800s, and 2020s Beam decided to bring it back as a limited time release. It’s a bonded expression of straight Kentucky bourbon, and though it carries no formal age statement it’s at least 4 years old. It’s bottled “unfiltered, for more robust flavor” and features an old-timey label — and it’s certainly priced to move.

Let’s taste this tub of a whiskey, shall we?

It’s undoubtedly a rustic style of bourbon, the nose weighted heavily with dusky barrel char, some cloves, and a whiff of smoke. There’s a popcorn and cereal component in there, but it’s buried deep, well beneath all that charred wood. The palate opens things up, slowly but surely. The barrel influence trumps everything at the start, but some air time exposes more of the whiskey’s nuances, including a sultry dark chocolate note, ample vanilla, and a nutmeg spiciness. It’s filtered through graphite and — invariably — charred wood, with a toasted coconut note and a surprising hit of cinnamon emerging slowly as the finish builds. With enough time in glass it all coalesces, but it takes its time getting there.

Surely you have the patience to see it through. I have faith in you.

100 proof.


Old Tub Bourbon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. logan Jensen on September 8, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Do you know, as I camnot seem to find anywhere on the internet, if this is in any way different from the distillry exclusive bottling they did? The only thing I see different on the bottles themselves is this new 750 size says unfiltered where the little 200ml size does not.

    • Christopher Null on September 8, 2020 at 10:28 am

      Logan – I checked with Beam and yes, this is the exact same liquid as the distillery exclusive.

  2. Anonymous on September 11, 2020 at 11:40 am

    how does the jim bean old rub compare to the jim beam black, which I like alot.


  3. Cangey on September 17, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    This is very good. Wow. Definitely a new mid-shelf “go-to.” Sorry, Old Grand-Dad et al.

  4. Mopar Eddie on November 13, 2020 at 7:44 am

    All you want where I live in PA 16.99 a bottle

  5. Stephen Radford on November 28, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Imo it was not good at all. Evan williams BIB taste way better and it is cheaper or for a few dollars more I’d rather. Buffalo trace.

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