California Liquor Store Offers Up Some Old Light Whiskeys For Sale - The Whiskey Wash

California Liquor Store Offers Up Some Old Light Whiskeys For Sale

By Nino Marchetti / October 23, 2018

The category of light whiskey is a rather interesting one, in that it was created in the 1960s by the federal government as an attempt to lure American drinkers to a “lighter version” of this spirit category at a time when they were gravitating away from the likes of bourbon towards clear spirits like gin and vodka. It has remained pretty much a curiosity in today’s whiskey resurgence, with only a small number of distilleries actively engaged in it. This happens to apparently include big industry player MGP, and now a couple of new older bottlings have emerged from here courtesy of a small and well regarded liquor store out of California.

The Old Fortune brand, according to those at the liquor store Bitters & Bottles, came about as the result of a partnership between the store and a small, unnamed distillery that’s local to the shop and which also is known for sourcing from MGP. Those at this distillery apparently alerted the store to some very old light whiskey aging at MGP, and together they sourced four 25 year old casks for this release.

image via Bitters & Bottles

Three of these barrels were blended together into a small batch release, and are now known as the Old Fortune Small Batch 25 Year American Whiskey. This expression, blended together at 47% ABV, yielded 168 bottles that each price at $109.50.

Official limited tasting notes for this first release suggest “soft melted caramel on the nose, with a wisp of vanilla bean and oak. The aroma hints at the great amount of time spent in barrel, time which has pushed off any hint of alcohol, makes on think they’re sniffing at whiskey-infused buttercream instead of 94 proof. On the palate tart fruit and caramel corn mingle with gentle maple and sawdust, complex layers of flavor slowly unfurl, and despite 25+ years spent in wood, the body remains soft and supple, surely thanks to the second use oak barrel.”

Joining this offering is the Old Fortune Single Barrel 25 Year Cask Strength American Whiskey. It is drawn from just one barrel and bottled at a more hearty 62.7% ABV. Pricing at $199.50, just 72 bottles were yielded from the cask.

Limited official tasting notes for this single barrel bottling suggest “hefty aromas present themselves immediately, deep toffee notes and caramelized sugars infused with a touch of oak. The body is no slouch either, throwing its weight around with such finesse you’re hard-pressed to reconcile that you’re sipping on 125.4 Proof or a whiskey described as “light”. The oak is a touch more present than its Small Batch sibling, primarily found through the barrel char left behind. A rich chocolate note layers into that subtle smokiness.”

The two whiskeys, incidentally, are both drawn from a mash bill of 97% corn/3% barley and were aged in used American oak.