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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Old Fitzgerald "Wheated"

Bourbon Whiskey

Old Fitzgerald Bourbon Whiskey History

John E. Fitzgerald opened a distillery in 1870 in Frankfort Kentucky. He produced a high quality Bourbon that was only available for rail and steamship lines and private clubs.


At the turn of the century (1900) he expanded his market by introducing his whiskey to the American public and exporting to Europe. Old Fitzgerald at the time was one of the last pot-stilled whiskeys and was produced by this method up until 1913.


During prohibition the brand was purchased by Pappy Van Winkle, an acknowledged whiskey man with a liking for Wheated whiskeys.


At some point the brand passed to the Bernheim distillery then to the Heaven Hill portfolio when they acquired Bernheim.


Made with a "whisper of wheat" according to a time-honoured formula,


Old Fitzgerald is critically acclaimed for its distinct, complex nose and taste. By substituting wheat for the more traditional rye in the grain recipe, or mashbill,


Old Fitzgerald finishes with a rounder, softer profile.


Old Fitzgerald Bottlings


Old Fitzgerald 43% Abv 86 proof

Old Fitzgerald 1849 8 year old 45% 90 proof



Old Fitzgerald Very Special 12 years old 45% Abv 90 proof


Nose: Massive complexity with shades of unripe green bananas, sandalwood, malt, soft ground peppers and raisins. Even shades of applejack. Stunning.


Taste: Bittersweet start. Enormous complexity from the off with creamy oils forming the backdrop to a bitter-vanilla middle. Sweet custardy notes are also about.


Finish: Medium to long and quite dry. There is some toffee-fudge but this disappears to leave more vanilla and gently oak.


Comments: A surprise package in that the nose suggests it to be sweeter and deeper than it actually is. Having said that, this is a superb Bourbon simply because each time you taste it, it registers a slightly different character."


Jim Murray

Classic Bourbon, Tennessee & Rye Whiskey

Tasting note kindly supplied by Heaven Hill Distilleries