Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Revisit:  They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To.

Old Fitzgerald
Several months ago, Stephen Netherton landed upon a pretty dusty find here in Kansas.  Old Fitzgerald hasn’t been brought into the state in years, and finding the Bottled in Bond expression anywhere tends to be difficult.  That find led to a review, with some pretty tasty results.  Lucky for me, Stephen shared a pour with me shortly after his review.

Fast forward a few months.  While shopping online over my lunch hour, I stumbled upon a few 1.75 liter bottles of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond located just outside of Chicago.  I’d been searching for months to no avail, but finally I had come upon it.  And only after working my way through the checkout process did I learn that they would not ship that particular item to Kansas.  After communicating this problem to fellow members, Jay Cary saved the day with a Chicago connection that was able to go into the score and buy a few for later export to Kansas.

Last week I twisted open that handle and had a pour.  I have to say I loved it.  It now stands as one of my favorite value pours.  At 100 proof, for me, it hits that mark where flavors are ideally concentrated without the overshadowing of proof.  However, this newer bottle certainly did not live up to my memory of the sample I tried from Stephen’s bottle.

Only a revisit of the older bottling next to the newer one would decide.  I shared a sample of the newer bottle with Stephen, and he shared a sample with me.

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Four Grandfathers and a Guy Named Basil

Pop Quiz.  Question 1: Name the man depicted on a bottle of Old Grand-Dad.   Answer: Basil Hayden.  Question 2:  Have a pour of Basil Hayden’s and tell me the difference between it and Old Grand-Dad.  Answer:  $20.  Ok, to be fair, $20 and maybe a year or two of age.

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Mellow Corn Review

Mellow Corn

Mellow Corn is a Straight Corn Whiskey produced by one of my favorite distilleries, Heaven Hill. It is made from a 90% corn mash bill and aged in USED Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for no less than four years. It is Bottled in Bond, meaning the whiskey is the product of one distillation season and one distiller at a single distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years, and it must be bottled at exactly 100 proof.

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Barrel Proof Bourbon Showdown – Round 1

A multi-part series of barrel proof bourbons.  Because how many can you really try at one time?

First up, offerings from Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and Heaven Hill.  All will be sampled just as they leave the bottle – without any water or ice intervention.

Stagg Jr.
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Jefferson’s Very Small Batch – By land or by sea?

Jefferson's Ocean

I’ve always enjoyed the Jefferson’s lineup. The Straight Rye is historically one of my favorite ryes, and the Reserve bourbon is delicious.  I’ve sampled the Very Small Batch on several different occasions.  And I’ve tasted several different voyages from the Ocean Aged at Sea and I will say I’ve appreciated each of them (although there is certainly some winners and runner-ups in the group).  I’m very excited to try (soon, I hope) the Cask Strength Voyage bottling.

But despite my overall enjoyment of the line, I’ve often wondered whether the “aged at sea” gimmick has any real merit, at least as it concerns my palate.

The only way to know might be to compare for myself the land version of what I believe to be the most closely related:  the Very Small Batch (without knowing much more about mash bills, sourcing, and age, there may not be a way to knowing exactly what compares, but I’m willing to make the comparison anyway).  And what better to compare than a couple of store pick single barrels?

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