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Old Fitzgerald

Nose: This has a super-light nose, with almost no scent at all. It might be the lightest nose I’ve experienced yet. I was able to pick up some corn and something sweet, which may have been raisin. Palate: Old Fitz is a nice gentle bourbon. It has a nice corn and honey sweetness. The mouthfeel is light and both the mid-palate and finish are relatively short. There’s only a small amount of “light” heat on the finish. This is a very easy drinker and another candidate for a bourbon for non-bourbon drinkers to try. Comment: This is 80 proof and does not come across as being aged very long. There’s nothing very complex with this one, but that’s OK, because I don’t think it is meant to be anything more than a simple bourbon. And if you don’t expect too much, you won’t mind it. This would make a nice “summer” bourbon because it isn’t heavy and doesn’t over-tax your palate. The good news is, this is a very affordable bourbon, which probably explains its simplicity. A 750ml bottle is a well under $20 pick and if memory serves me, this 175 bottle cost me $24. First produced in 1870, Old Fitzgerald is one of the oldest “names” in bourbon. When the brand was acquired by Pappy Van Winkle (yes, that one) it became a wheated bourbon made at the now famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Heaven Hill acquired the brand in 1999 and adjusted the mashbill, but still kept the wheat at 20%. This is a cousin of Larceny, another wheated Heaven Hill product. The bad news is, you probably won’t find this on the shelves. because after Heaven Hill released Larceny, they scaled back on Old Fitzgerald. Although Heaven Hill now sells an allocated, “luxury” Limited Edition of Old Fitzgerald that is probably equally hard to find, the “old” Old Fitz is now only sold in a very small and select number of states. And…..if you want to try the Stitzel Weller of this from the mid-1970s……a bottle on the secondary market will run you about $2,000. So…..if you have relatives with liquor cabinets they haven’t opened in years, you may wish to see if they’d like to sell or “gift” you this or other old bourbons which also fetch crazy prices.

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