Since 2018, Heaven Hill has been releasing three editions of their limited edition Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond decanters. These bottles usually drop in spring (with a green label) and fall (with a black label) plus a third BHC or “bourbon heritage collection” release (with a dark burgundy label) each year. All of these bourbon expressions are much-sought-after and that drives the prices up hundreds of dollars above their suggested retail. The fancy decanter that the liquid comes in helps add to the mystique and desirability.
Today, we’re reviewing the first release of 2021, the spring “green label” release. This is a pretty straightforward assessment based on taste alone. You alone can decide if this bottle of Old Fitzgerald will be worth the massive markup these bottles usually get at retail. Or how much you’d pay for that cool decanter. We’re just here to tell you about the liquid in the bottle!
Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 8 Years Aged, Spring 2021
Average Price: $85 MSRP
This year’s spring release is a marriage of eight-year-old whiskeys produced in the spring of 2013. That distilled juice rested in barrels spread throughout three warehouses on several different floors. In spring of this year, those barrels were vatted and whiskey was proofed down to 100 (per bottled-in-bond law). Then the whiskey was filled into Old Fitzgerald’s signature decanters and sent out into the world.
Goddamn! This is gorgeous. The nose draws you in with warming eggnog spice, creamy vanilla pudding, rich toffee, mild fruit, and a hint of wet cedar and very muted citrus. To say this is “smooth” would be an understatement. The silky taste dances around oven-hot pans of pecan and maple-glazed sticky buns with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg next to caramelized orange peel vibes and lightness that’s almost hard to believe. The finish is long, effervescent, and leaves you with this soft sense of having just eaten the best oatmeal raisin cookie of your life with just the right amounts of oats, spice, raisins, brown sugar, and crumble.
Let’s face it, half of the people who buy this whiskey buy it for the iconic bottle. And you know what? We get it. This bottle looks really fly on your bar cart. It’s stylish without being garish. It’s classic while still feeling fresh (in the stale bourbon bottle world, anyway).
It helps that the label is understated and holds onto that throwback vibe.
We can see how people go crazy for this juice. This is one of the most beautiful American whiskeys we’ve had in a while. This is classic bourbon flavors in a classic decanter but elevated to the next level. The taste is welcoming and fills you with a sense of ease. There are no rough edges. It’s somehow light while also brimming with big flavors. It’s a goddamn masterpiece.
Ugh… I almost hate to do this, seeing as it’s such a high ranking for our first single bottle review of the year. But I just nosed and re-tasted this expression against my two favorite expressions of 2020 and, whew — 99/100. Final answer.
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