I promise we didn’t sleep on Old Fitzgerald‘s spring 2023 bonded release. This whiskey wasn’t even announced until August, and it’s taken another few weeks for us to get our review done. A youthful installment in the newish series (which now numbers 11 whiskeys), this wheater is a mere 10 years old, produced in the first half of 2013 and bottled this spring into its iconic decanter.
It’s important to remember that 10 years of age is hardly young for a bourbon, and this Old Fitz is certainly at its fighting weight, firing on all cylinders. Gentle on the nose, the whiskey melds light sandalwood notes with agreeable notes of peanut shells, caramel corn, and vanilla soda. Peppery char continues to unfold as the whiskey opens up, but things never feel daunting or overdone.
Sweetness balances wood on the palate, with honey and butterscotch battling for dominance. Brown butter is prominent, with just a bit of baked apple providing the only real fruit in the mix. Creamy and sweet as it fades out, the whiskey has a bold peanut butter quality on the finish, laced with just a touch of clove, ginger, and pepper.
Fans of this series may find this release a bit pedestrian, but for my money it’s a classic representation of what wheated bourbons should be, eschewing the bold grassiness of rye-forward bourbons for a softer, gentler approach. I ended up enjoying it more than many of the older (and pricier) Old Fitzgerald releases, which can get beaten up a bit by the wood they spend so long against. These babies need a more delicate hand, it seems.
Contrast with Old Fitz 8 Years Old Spring 2021.
A / $140