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Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 25th Anniversary Edition




Whiskey Review: Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 25th Anniversary Edition

Tasting Notes:

This bourbon, aged 13 years and bottled at 100 proof, comprises 13-year-old barrels. It is priced at $229.99.
The amber color in this glass is very rich and deep in consideration, carrying alongside it a solid leg structure and light viscosity.
The nose on this screams everything you want a top-flight Kentucky bourbon to smell like, with rich notes of vanilla, oak, orange peel, apricots, and dense baked bread falling nicely in line.
Excuse me while I take this bottle off into a corner and cry over it. It tastes really, really good – again, what you want that bourbon to sing in your mouth as you explore your palate with it. To take note of here are vibrant aspects of vanilla, coriander, oranges, apricots, brown sugar, oak, and a nod of butterscotch candy.
This is very warm and clean on the finish, giving a wonderful ending as it fades off in a medium time frame.
So this was released a few months ago as an exclusive Kentucky release to select retailers, along with at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown. If you can track down a bottle, do it – you won’t regret it – a legendary release.
Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 25th Anniversary Edition review
We review Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 25th Anniversary Edition, consisting of Heaven Hill bourbon from barrels produced in September 1999, emptied in March 2013 and put away until being bottled in February 2024. (image via Heaven Hill)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Heaven Hill, in its long and storied history since first being founded by the Shapira family in 1935 in Kentucky, has continually focused on producing an extensive range of American whiskeys, many of which are tied to rich brand story histories within themselves. Amongst the over two million barrels aging in more than 70 warehouses across two Kentucky warehouses, a select number of top-quality barrels find themselves in some of the distillery’s higher-end lineups, including the decanter-focused Old Fitzgerald expressions.

The legendary Old Fitzgerald line, as the story goes from Heaven Hill, “is well-known for its distilling pedigree and intriguing story behind its namesake, John E. Fitzgerald, whose legacy is also heralded by the Larceny Bourbon brand. Both brands use Heaven Hill’s wheated bourbon mash bill of 68% corn, 20% wheat and 12% malted barley.”

The Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Decanter Series, as it is presented today, normally consists of two seasonal releases: spring and fall. There’s also a third variant under the moniker VVS (Very Very Special) that comes out very rarely.

What’s in the bottle

Before this year, only two VVS offerings had been made available: the VVS 2018 14-year-old and VVS 2020 16-year-old. What’s on the review table here now, the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 25th Anniversary Edition, marks the third. Heaven Hill noted of this release when it came out that “after the catastrophic fire at the Old Heaven Hill Springs Distillery in November 1996, Heaven Hill acquired the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville in April 1999. The barrels used for this release were produced in September 1999, emptied in March 2013 and bottled in February 2024.

“When these barrels were tested in 2013, it was decided that the taste profile at 13 years old was exceptional and the profile would be reserved for a special occasion, such as this 25th Anniversary Edition. Thirteen is also a lucky number for Heaven Hill, as the company filled its first barrel ever on December 13, 1935.”

‘The Bernheim Distillery became the lifeblood of Heaven Hill after the setback from the fire and has been ever since,” said Executive Chairman Max Shapira at the time of its recent release. “We are honored to have been able to continue the Old Fitzgerald legacy since that time and look forward to many more years of exceptional releases from Bernheim Distillery and from the Heaven Hill Springs Distillery set to open early next year.”

This bourbon, aged 13 years and bottled at 100 proof, comprises 13-year-old barrels. The bottle’s maroon label denotes its special edition status. It is priced at $229.99.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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