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Heaven Hill Just Dropped a 25th Anniversary Edition of Its Old Fitzgerald Bourbon

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Heaven Hill’s Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Decanter Series is already a collector’s item among serious whiskey fans. So this week’s announcement of the 25th Anniversary Edition of the highly coveted bourbon seems like a sure bet to achieve instant unicorn status.

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According to the distillery, the Old Fitzgerald name dates back to 1884 when it was first legally registered. Fast-forward to Prohibition when the brand was acquired by the legendary Pappy Van Winkle, who turned it into a wheated bourbon by replacing some of the rye in the mashbill with wheat, much like his eponymous bourbon which is produced at Buffalo Trace today. The Old Fitz name arrived at Heaven Hill in 1999, the same year that the distillery acquired the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville after the Old Heaven Hill Springs Distillery was ravaged by a fire a few years prior. Since 2018, the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Decanter Series has been released twice a year in the fall and spring, along with just two VVS (Very Very Special) expressions in that first year and in 2020. Now the VVS designation has returned with the launch of this new 25th Anniversary Edition.

The mashbill for this bourbon is the same as previous Old Fitzgerald releases and Heaven Hill’s Larceny brand: 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley. The liquid in the decanter came from 13-year-old barrels of whiskey that was distilled in September of 1999, the year Heaven Hill acquired the brand, and dumped in March of 2013. After 11 years of presumably being stored in stainless-steel vats, the bourbon was bottled in February of this year. According to a press release, the barrels were tested in 2013, and the whiskey, deemed to be of very high quality, was set aside for a special release. The number 13 is actually lucky for Heaven Hill, since the distillery filled its first barrel on December 13, 1935.

Official tasting notes from the brand describe cinnamon toast, nutmeg, allspice, and sweet oak on the nose, followed by honey, vanilla, and baking spices on the palate. The finish is said to be warm with notes of oak and gentle pepper. The Old Fitzgerald 25th Anniversary Edition is a highly allocated release that will be available exclusively at Kentucky retailers and the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown. The SRP for this bourbon is $230; while presumably you can find it for that price at the distillery, it’s likely to cost a whole lot more once it hits the secondary market, as it most certainly will do. You can currently find other bourbons in the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Decanter Series at websites such as Flaviar now if you’re looking to complete your collection.

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