While the Pappy and BTAC bottles have not yet made it to Alexandria, Louisiana yet, I did get lucky enough to pick up the fall release of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond. The fall releases come with a black label, the spring with a green label, and distillery releases with a red label. I really enjoyed this spring’s green label release. I won’t recount the history of this whiskey again, but Old Fitz was a Van Winkle brand, and this is wheated bourbon. The brand is now produced at Heaven Hill as a limited release, with Larceny replacing Old Fitz as its main wheated bourbon offering. Which is a shame since Old Fitz is way better than Larceny in my opinion.
This release is nine years old, as opposed to the eleven year old spring release. However, given that is was distilled in the fall of 2008 and bottled in the fall of 2018, this whiskey is really just shy of ten years old.
The color of this whiskey is an amber without any traces of red, unlike the spring release. Really thick oily long legs though. The nose is classic wheat recipe bourbon with oak spice. Very mouth watering.
The mouthfeel is very rich on this whiskey; a little thicker than the spring release. The palate is all sweet wheat bourbon, mixed in with cinnamon, clove, and a hint of cumin. The finish is very long and lingering. You really have to give this one a good Kentucky chew to get all of the character. Absolutely no Beam family yeast funk, except for the slight cumin note. Very well done. Top drawer wheated bourbon that rivals Pappy 20 for sure.
I still have some of the spring release left, so a comparison is in order.
The spring release was a little more reddish in color, the cinnamon is less pronounced, and it has these wonderful aged oak notes that reach more into Pappy 15 territory than the 20. The extra two years of barrel aging definitely mellow this whiskey and add more character. The spring release was distilled in 2006.
What I am left wondering however is the 2007 wheated bourbon run. It’s like Heaven Hill skipped it. When will the 2007 whiskey be released? If they are holding it until 2019 or 2020, I have a feeling it will be really special.