The Spring 2023 release of Old Fitzgerald brings us a return to a relatively low age statement after coming off a 17 year and 19 year release. This wheated bourbon that features the same mash bill as the Larceny line has captured the eye of many whiskey enthusiasts due to its extravagant decanter. One other thing this release routinely carries is a cork with an exceptional interference fit. Pulling the cork out of this one risks life and limb if you were to let the glass topper go flying. Once you do get into the bottle though - what does it taste like? Let's find out.
Company on Label: Heaven Hill
Whiskey Type: Wheated Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley
Age: 10 years
Further identification: This is the Spring 2023 Release of Old Fitzgerald which comes in a fanciful decanter style bottle bearing a green label
Nose: Immediately the nose offers up dark, nutty tones of walnut, almond and macadamia nut. Cherry skins are a highlighted note that mainly hangs around in the background while the nutty tones proliferate alongside the smell of an earthy first floor of a rick house. Hints of smoke pop up alongside a basket of plums and a distinct metallic scent. Letting this rest for a while improves the intensity some, but I'm still left with relatively little to work with.
After a sip, not much changes outside of a slightly more oily nose-feel. Fried dough, french fries and barley can be dug up from the depths on long inhales. The empty glass smells of Hershey's chocolate powder and milk duds.
Palate: My first sip is classic Kentucky "spicy-sweet" with cinnamon and cherry skins leading the way. Another sip layers in simple snippets of flavor, like a passing billboard on the highway. One breezes by, announcing farmstand raspberries, quarter mile on the right. The metallic din of crashing silverware at the local diner blows by at what feels like light speed. The linger is incredibly short here with little in the way of a mouth coating either. What I get from this is a fragmented memory of a long night drive spent trying to see a non-backlit GameBoy screen as each passing street light offered a momentary glimpse of information. What the unreachable depths of my memory have conjured are means to say that I am finding this a little too soft-spoken in the flavor department. Sipping further I find thin cherry juice, plum and a touch of pie crust. Hints (and I'm really talking hints here) of graham cracker, molasses and leather can be recognized in the thin, oaky remnants of a larger sip and swish. Late into the glass the nuttiness continues to play a dominant role. My last sip is consistent with the rest of the glass - unremarkable yet passable whiskey.
TL;DR: Sweet, spice, but not everything nice; this is just okay bourbon in a fancy bottle
This is unfortunately quite thin and disappointing for me with only a few notes really coming through in a meaningful way. It certainly drinks fine, but more like a shelfer that definitely doesn't deserve to be in a fanciful decanter such as this.