July 2019: Solera Bourbon

What is a solera style bourbon?

The solera process is a method for fractionally blending liquids so that the aging casks are never emptied, and the average age of the finish product gradually increases. Generally, the way to understand the solera process to picture a barrel rack three high. The uppermost barrels hold the youngest spirits and the lowest level holds the oldest spirits. As the lower level is fractionally drained and bottled the middle level barrels are fractionally drained to refill the bottom barrels and so on.

The idea behind the solera process is that a reliable style and quality is achieved over time. If a spirit is aged in a three-level solera process over the life of the process (more than 20 years) the average age of the final product converges on 5 years. Traditionally this process has been used for sherry, madeira, port and other wines and vinegars. The use of the solera process in bourbon is quite new. The bottles in this tasting event represent all available expressions of solera bourbon.

Solera

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Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Vertical

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond

Starting in 2018, Heaven Hill began its bi-annual special release of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond. Age statements on each of these wheated bourbons have varied between 9 years and 14 years. As with all bottled-on-bond products, each Old Fitzgerald release is bottled at 100-proof.

And with any special release collection, the question emerges – which Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is the best?

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