Whiskey Review: Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 14 Year (Fall 2020)

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Heaven Hill. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Every spring and fall there is a new Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey released by Heaven Hill Distillery. The Old Fitzgerald brand was once owned by Pappy Van Winkle, but purchased by Heaven Hill Distillery in 1999. Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is currently being made at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, KY. The brand dates back to 1884.

For this release of the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series it’s made from barrels produced in fall of 2005, which makes it a 14 year straight bourbon whiskey. This is a national release with a black label as opposed to the 14-year red label release. The prior red label was only available at the Bardstown visitors center and elsewhere in the state of Kentucky. This fall 2020 release is only the sixth national release in the series.

Bottled-in-Bond is a strict series of requirements including: the product of a single distillery from a single distilling season aged a minimum of four years, and 100 proof or 50% alcohol by volume in the bottle. What makes this bottle a bit more unique in this designation is the distillers have selected barrels from different rickhouses, on different floors, and slightly different production dates. All barrels were from the the fall of 2005. Heaven Hill is trying to showcase the quality of the spirit and the premium nature of this brand.

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Something else really unique about Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is the bottle shape. The bottle is reminiscent of an old glass decanter with a fancy cork top. This is something you’d want to display on your shelf for your guests to admire, rather than in your cupboard.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Fall 2020)

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Fall 2020) (image via Heaven Hill)

Tasting Notes: Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 14 Year (Fall 2020)

Vital Stats: 100 proof; 14 years; barrels from 2005; $140

Color: A light russet or chestnut sherry

Nose: The nose is very rich and malty. It’s very fruity and a little tangy, with some subtle musty notes. There are hints of fresh cut grass, hazelnuts, caramel, and dark fruits.

Palate: There’s a sweetness of maple syrup, fig, caramel apple, and vanilla balanced with malt, yeast, and a dash of pepper. It’s like a fresh baked pie in a glass. The mouthfeel is very buttery and smooth with a little heat at the end.

The Takeaway

Summary

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 14 Year (Fall 2020) has a rich earthy, and malty flavor. It's complex but not overwhelming with a little heat at the end. There's a sweetness to the nose and palate with fruits, nuts and maple. Overall I really liked the flavor and would recommend it as a good whiskey to drink neat. It would be especially good as an after dinner dessert.

4.5
User Rating 4.67 (3 votes)
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