Old Fitzgerald 14 Year and 11 Year Fall Release Head To Head Wheated Bourbon Review




I'm always trying to find a way to make the most of samples people give me; I'm always so grateful to be able to try something new that I like to really take my time with the 1 or 2 oz I have to work with. I never suck a few of them down in any one sitting and as such it takes me quite a long time to get to some folks stuff! This 14 year sample is courtesy of the great @Ra1nmannn, who's name should look quite familiar on this page by now. The 11 year I won in a raffle from being part of the 1940 Barrel Society at Kappy's. I felt inspired to go for these pours for some reason today. I've never had the 11 year before now, but I have tried (and very much liked) the 14 year already. I will try to reset myself from that prior experience and see how this glass treats me today. The glencairns have been resting a while... Let's get into this!


 

Old Fitzgerald BiB - 11 Year (Fall 2021)

Company on Label: Old Fitzgerald

Whiskey Type: Wheated Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat,12% Malted Barley

Proof: 100°

Age: 11 years

Further identification: This is the Fall release from 2021, the most current at the time of this review

Old Fitzgerald BiB - 14 Year (Fall 2020)

Company on Label: Old Fitzgerald

Whiskey Type: Wheated Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat,12% Malted Barley

Proof: 100°

Age: 14 years

Further identification: This is from the Fall release of 2020; it was provided to me in a 2oz sample from a friend's open bottle


 

Old Fitzgerald 11 Year Review


Nose: Releasing the cover that was over the top of the glass showed off a proofy malt / molasses profile on first nosing. There is star anise and a heavily burnt oak now nosing a bit further. Pepper and vanilla are a bit high flying still and sting my nostrils when getting too close. Coming back to this after a little more air time has led this glass towards a light plum, singed cacao and something closer to cardboard. Oooh, some really interesting citrus characteristics are starting to float through this glass now. It presents like a lemon scented geranium. Very interesting - this glass just completely transformed from a heavy, malty fireball of a nosing experience to an exquisite flower. All the notes now are softer and easier to find. Thin honey, cherry, chocolate curls and nutmeg melt and meld mellowly. Time for a sip! Slightly herbal after a sip, and I'm still surprised how little fruit I get on the nose for how much is on the palate. There's a candied apple aroma settling in to what feels like quite a busy nose. There's more anise now and some iron or steel metallic notes that flashed up alongside it. Pie baking spices flash up in darts here and there. Late in the glass there's some evidence of the wheat grains influence with some soft breadiness. The empty glass smells of chocolate, raspberry, earthy herbs and dry vanilla.


Palate: The first sip is incredibly approachable here. Orange starts out sweet, like the making of a good old fashioned, before turning a bit zesty and bringing with it cherry, honey and a creamy rum-like texture. Christmas cookies, vanilla frosting, and a really tasty oak note I'm digging a lot. I'm nodding my head to this one quite a bit and not coming up with words other than 'yum' for the most part. Some sweet tea floats up now and coats the top of my tongue well. Honey sweetness continues to help this pour achieve a satisfying arc. Still quite fruit sweet with strawberry preserves and plum. Slightly drying mouth feel on subsequent sips; it feels very similar to a freshly baked, soft gingerbread cookie. Late in the glass things are taking on a touch of raspberry tartness. The zesty orange notes continue to make this a tremendous fruit-rich profile, but I would have liked to see this pour do a bit more with regard to complexity. My last sip is filled with orange peel, tart plum, rich molasses, drying oak, and cinnamon spice that lingers impossibly long on the top of my tongue.


Rating: 4/5


 

Old Fitzgerald 14 Year Review


Nose: Indulgent, creamy caramel forward first nosing. Balanced well by vanilla bean, chocolate and mint. The mint was a wholesome surprise at the end of a long inhale. It reminded me of toothpaste a little bit. The glass then returns to its level caramel with leather, pepper and Heaven Hill paper I have certainly smelled before out of other offerings like their flagship 7 year bottled in bond offering. More heavy leather notes keep this glass sitting quite neat in the bottom of the glencairn. Time for a swirl. Sugar cookie breaks through the oak base now with dark, red grape and something dusty that reminds me of the Christmas ornament box at my dad's house (it's been around a while). Boom - big, bright vanilla rings out clear and strong on this - truly delicious smelling. There's coffee bean in the background of this with a creamy pot still nose-feel as well. Woah, suddenly a peanut note just flipped out from under the chocolate I was just experiencing. It's like the hammock just suddenly flipped over and dumped out what it was holding. That makes me like this even more. Time for a sip! After a sip this pour loses some of its softness and picks up in the power department. The aromas feel bigger and bolder, but haven't changed much. Wow! That butterscotch is incredible coming back to this glass. Creamy molasses and all the soft, velvety bourbon aromas you could imagine. It felt like I was inhaling something more materially solid than air with my nostrils. This developed marvelously late in the glass. The empty glass smells of powerful vanilla, creamy caramel laced oak, toasting bread (specifically the toast I ate in Berlin, Germany many years ago for some reason...), and sweet honey.


Palate: The first sip of this glass is fruit forward again with a lot more oak tannin present for sure. There's that wine-like mouth feel that starts to form at these higher age statements and if you are an oak lover - this has it! This one dances much more in the spice territory with allspice and cloves present, but subtle. The mouth coating and linger is very long but low in intensity. The nuttiness I experienced late in the nose before my sip is definitely also noticeable in this linger. Cherry hots do that awesome 'pop' experience where it starts very condensed in one spot and then spreads across your tongue with some effervescence. This has a perfect level of heat to it at 100 proof; any higher and I think this one would be quite a spice bomb. For now it's a sweet medley of plum jam, grape jelly, caramel squares and light toffee. Ever sip starts off much the same, but the linger that follows it is different every time. This one had a smooth vanilla coffee bean rise up alongside roasted almonds. My last sip is a bittersweet farewell, with light chocolate shavings, orange sherbert, level oak, coffee bean, and a creamy caramel linger.


Rating: 4/5




 

Final Ranking: Old Fitz 14 > Old Fitz 11


The 14 year release was really close to earning a 5/5 from me tonight, but the palate just didn't have the wow factor some of my 5's have exhibited. I really love both of these pours and hope you enjoy yours if you get to taste them!

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