As we’ve stated many times before, old whiskey doesn’t necessarily mean good whiskey, particularly when it comes to bourbon. That being said, the news about Heaven Hill’s tenth Old Fitzgerald release, which at 19 years old is the oldest yet in this highly coveted series, is surely going to make whiskey fans more than a little bit excited.
The Old Fitzgerald bottled-in-bond bourbon brand launched in 2018 as a limited-edition series of ornate decanters of well-aged whiskey that promptly joined the ranks of high-priced unicorn bottles. There is also a cheap version called Old Fitzgerald Prime available in some states, but there’s basically no promotion behind it. The brand name, which can be traced back to the late 19th century, was acquired by Heaven Hill in 1999 and is made from the same mash bill as other wheated bourbons produced at the distillery such as Larceny—68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, 12 percent malted barley. The roots of the bourbon can be traced back to Pappy Van Winkle (the actual man, not the whiskey), when it was made at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery using wheat as a flavoring grain instead of rye.
Since its launch in 2018, the age of Old Fitzgerald Bourbon has ranged from as low as eight years old to as high as 17 years (last spring’s release), until the current bottling which spent just shy of two decades in barrels. For those that need a refresher, the bottled-in-bond designation means that the whiskey must be at least four years old, bottled at 100 proof, and the product of one distillery and one distilling season—a vintage of sorts. This whiskey was distilled in September of 2003 and bottled in October of 2022, and matured on three floors of rickhouse F and one floor of rickhouse X at Heaven Hill, for those that like to really get into the whiskey weeds.
No tasting notes are available as of yet from the brand, but presumably this whiskey is… good? Oaky? Lots of vanilla and caramel? Sublime or mediocre? If you happen to find a bottle in the wild for the SRP of $240, grab it and let us know. There are actually some bottles of the spring 2021 eight-year-old release that are priced close to that online, but most will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,000.