The Schtick: Distilled in the Fall of 2005 and bottled in 2020, this 14 year age stated wheated bourbon is the latest entry into Heaven Hill’s Old Fitzgerald Decanter Series. Produced using all the markers of a Bottled in Bond release, this series has taken off quite well in recent years after an initially rocky start. I was a big fan of this Spring’s bottling, so I’m looking forward to diving into the older fall release that has just arrived.
Disclosure: Heaven Hill asked me to review this, and sent some along.
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Bottler: Heaven Hill
Brand: Old Fitzgerald
ABV: 50% ABV
Age: 14 Years
Nose: Sweet and enticing – loaded with maple sugar, brown butter, molasses, sweet grain and a promising oak note. Leaning sweet and desserty, fruits are diminished in favor of more brown sugar and oak.
Taste: Rich on the palate, muted in ethanol. Dessert forward once more, with an especially notable molasses character that coats the palate nicely. A hint of berry, then the oak makes an appearance. I always have concerns with bourbon 12+ years or so – that perhaps too much oak will turn great flavor into a bitter bomb. This doesn’t really seem to be an issue here. Sweet caramel candies, nice toffee, tobacco and pepper from the tannins. Rich red berry note that quickly gives way to vanilla bean and waffle cone. Not nearly as fruity as the Spring release of this year, the oak is definitely a more prominent guest in this show, but it works.
Finish: Short finish, medium complexity. Dessert is the note of the day and it sticks once more. Brown butter, oak body and tannins, some caramel and a hint of cherry.
Overall: The nose and palate on this release are dialed in perfectly. The finish is a hair short, but that’s no crippling flaw. The Fall release of OF BIB is more oak forward, though not over oaked, and plays more to the sweet tooth in the audience. If you wish the spring release had a bit more oak and a hair less cherry, this is for you.
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