A Damn nice bourbon that harks back to an older style. Restores my faith in humanity and Heaven Hill in particular.
Notes: Old Fitzgerald is an older brand by bourbon standards. Old Fitzgerald was acquired by Heaven Hill in 1999 to add to their stable of already very solid to great brands. Heaven Hill itself dates back to 1932 and the repeal of Prohibition.
Some of their many other brands and line extension include Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, and Parker’s Heritage Collection. We have over 40 Heaven Hill products that we have reviewed altogether.
This is the Sixth edition we have reviewed so far. There have been a total of eight releases altogether, but we missed the first two. We started with the Old Fitz Spring 2020 Edition, The Old Fitz Fall 2020 Edition, Old Fitz Spring 2021, The Old Fitz Fall 2021, The Old Fitz Spring 2022, and now this one, The Old Fitz Bottled in Bond Fall 2022, The past six editions we reviewed have been much younger than this one at 19 Years Old. This is 2 years older than the previous ( Spring of 2022), and the only other bottle nearly that old lately was the 2022 bottling of the First Edition of The Heaven Hill Heritage Collection was 17 Years Old, as was the Spring of 2022 Bottled in Bond edition.
This is a Bottled In Bond bottling of bourbon that is nineteen years old (making it the oldest release of this series, the previous one was 17 years old, and prior to that, all of 11 years old) and is the eighth release in the series. Old Fitzgerald uses wheat in the mash bill to reduce the spiciness that a heavy rye version of bourbon can have.
This version was made in September 0f 2003 and bottled in October of 2022. Unlike the previous release, where no mention of where they pulled the barrels was given, This Fall of 2022 release does have notations as to where the barrels were pulled from, which is 3 floors of rickhouse F and one floor of rickhouse X at Heaven Hills Main Campus.
Allocated and already probably hunted to extinction except for the outer provinces. This whiskey will probably be trading for stupid money on the grey market fairly quickly among the vapid, vulgar, and taste-challenged wankers that engage in such markets,.. Yes, it is going to be rare and sought after, and unlike a number of the previous releases, and even though it is even more money, this one is worth buying.
Appearance: Honey yellow with some more red notes than the previous releases to it, On swirling, it leaves a nice oily ( if not overly thick ) coat on the glass. Legs form slowly and thinner than some with pendulous drops forming at the end of the legs as they slowly head back to the bottom. Clear, honeyed appearance overall.
First Impression: A bit spirity out of the gate on the first pour, then settles down a bit. Subtle, slightly dry corn and wheat notes with the barley chiming in with biscuity and slightly sweet cereal notes- subdued marzipan note, with very light touches of mace, persimmon, and dark apricots, a touch of Rhum Agricole grassiness, and the barley cereal makes it way through again with dark fruits, Turkish tobacco, and leather.
Taste: Corn, wheat, barley, followed up with an oak char and tobacco dryness. A light to medium body with a more austere and dry entry than previous releases. It coats the tongue to deliver a sweet grain malt with dark fruits, with a rapid follow-up of spice The finish is corn, followed by the unmistakable high notes of wheat and barley malt, chiming in last. A deeper, slightly woody, slightly sweet, and fatty notes and a touch of alkaline dryness with a longer and much more pleasant finish compared to the last ( younger) release.
Drinks: At $240 MSRP ( up from $185 for the last release) (never mind the Grey Market price), I would not use it for cocktails. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but it harks back to an older style of whiskey with much more complexity and subtlety than you will find almost anywhere else.
Bottle: Did not receive the production bottle, so cannot comment.
Other: Goes well with good but not overly oily cigar, say a shade-grown Ashton or Davidoff.
Final Thoughts: A nicely slightly rotund but spicy expression of a bourbon with some very pleasant edges and complexity to it. A touch of spiciness and pepper for those who like that, along with echoes of an older, more plush, and complicated style of bourbon we thought had disappeared.
Website: HeavenHilldistillery.com This is a direct link to the Old Fitzgerald pages. If you back up, you can see all their brands – which are quite a few!
Both this link and the other pages have a plethora of information and photos. Well laid out and fast loading. Heaven Hill has one of the easier-to-navigate and visually pleasing websites in the industry.