July 10, 2011

Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond Review

Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond is one of the handful of bourbons on the market today designated as such. I discussed Bottled In Bond bourbons here. Old Fitz BIB is affordable, priced at under $15 at most liquour stores. It's also one the relatively few wheated bourbons - wheat replaces the usual rye as the flavor grain. It also has an old school label, which makes it easy to spot in your liquor cabinet.

Old Fitzgerald is a glowing amber-orange in color. Its nose is soft and sweet with notes of candied orange, floral lushness, honeysuckle, and a sour hint in the background. Mouthfeel is on the thick side, not oily, and robust. Old Fitz's most obvious taste is caramel sweetness. The wheat certainly tempers the high proof to a degree, allowing some subtler flavors to come through: a slight oaky sourness is there, along with some clove, and a tinge of herbal bitterness. It finishes with a burst of sweetness and a lingering burn that is understated considering the high alcohol content.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond packs a punch as a result of its proof, but doesn't slap you across the face with it. The hot edges and smoothed by its sweetness, and the spicy burn is blunted by the wheat. For fun, have a taste test with Old Fitz BIB and Old Grand Dad BIB. You'll appreciate the difference a little rye can make. It is a great choice for a cocktail, and to enjoy by itself. Try introducing a bottle into your rotation.

As a general rule, when I drink bourbon neat I never add water. Some people would add water to a 100 proof whiskey, and certainly would do so for those with even higher proof. This being a function of your personal booze rules, I concede that adding a bit of water will change the flavor profile of Old Fitz. Whether or not that change is for the better is for you to decide.

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