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atfree
04-03-2012, 16:58
I've searched over this site, and the internet, for information specific to approximate Old Fitzgerald Prime age. I posted the information below in the "What did you pass up" thread, but should have made a new thread. I'm going back by this liquor store this coming weekend, and want to find out if it's worth picking these up.

While shopping last weekend, I found 2 bottles of 375ml Old Fitzgerald Prime, with a 96 on the bottom and a UPC beginning with 88076. The best information I have been able to find indicates that OF Prime is aged somewhere in the 6-8 year range, which would make this 1996 bottling likely to be Stitzel-Weller. I have no clue if this is correct.

Could someone with more knowledge of the SW brands educate me on whether or not the bottles, as described, sound like they are distilled by Stitzel-Weller? What bottle year would likely be the last of the S-W in the Prime?

I have been attempting to find some true "dusties", but have largely been unsuccessful. Part of this could be due to a still limited knowledge of what all to look for.

cowdery
04-03-2012, 17:05
Prime is NAS and most likely 4 to 5 years old, perhaps occasionally older in the glut era, but 6 to 8 is preposterous. Even so, a 1996 bottling would still most likely be Stitzel-Weller. You don't mention the price. If they're at 1996 prices it's a no-brainer. Buy them. If the seller has decided they're worth something and jacked up the price, pass, unless the money doesn't matter to you and you want to say you've had SW whiskey. They won't be anything special.

I think Bernheim went online late in the first quarter of 1992, so those barrels wouldn't even be eligible to be dumped until after their actual 4th birthday, and that's assuming Bernheim immediately went into full production and the distillate was 100% satisfactory, both of which would be wrong assumptions. So there probably wasn't much Bernheim in any 1996 bottlings.

Mixtures of SW and Bernheim are also a possibility later in 1996 and beyond.

You're pretty new here so you may not know that many members have Stitzel-Weller fatigue.

atfree
04-03-2012, 18:47
Thank you for your informative response, and the patient explanation. I was actually a little hesitant to ask about these, as I realize from countless hours of browsing this site that Stitzel-Weller is a tired topic. Unfortunately, I just recently got into the bourbon world, and feel like I have to experience at least 1 original S-W bottling before they all disappear.

As for price, they were both marked at $6.50. This seems to be in line with what I see the current 750ml bottles going for around here. I just don't want to waste valuable storage space if these are the same as my 2001 & 2002 OF Prime bottles, which are only so-so.

The 8 year age information for the Prime came from this old 1966 newspaper (in left sidebar ad):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19661102&id=W4IkAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YygEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2927,844566

AaronWF
04-03-2012, 20:30
The 8 year age information for the Prime came from this old 1966 newspaper (in left sidebar ad):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19661102&id=W4IkAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YygEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2927,844566

Wow neat! A chance to repost some of my pictures from early February. Actually, I can't repost them, but here's the original one:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=273494&postcount=56

My bottles look a little different than the one in the paper (nice ad, btw), with Prime Straight written on the shoulder instead of on the bottle.

redbear
04-03-2012, 20:32
You can see the 8 year age statement on the label in the ad. They must have dropped that somewhere along the way.

atfree
04-04-2012, 03:36
Wow neat! A chance to repost some of my pictures from early February. Actually, I can't repost them, but here's the original one:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=273494&postcount=56

My bottles look a little different than the one in the paper (nice ad, btw), with Prime Straight written on the shoulder instead of on the bottle.

Wow!! You have some truly amazing bottles in your collection. Those bottles are in great condition given their age.

Gillman
04-04-2012, 05:13
To my best recollection, having first bought Old Fitzgerald Prime in the 1970's, it was, at that time, an 86 proofer aged 6 years old. The bonded of course would have been 4 fours old but possibly older at certain periods. The one pictured says "new" on the sash, so it must have been unusual to release one at 8 years old, but clearly they did at one time, probably due to the glut. But for many years it's been NAS, thus at least four years old, probably 4-5 as Chuck said. The 8 in the range was generally the Fitzgerald 1849, again IIRC, but I believe is NAS now.

Gary

Gillman
04-04-2012, 05:15
My memory is unclear at this late date but I believe Prime was also available in 90 proof in the late 70's-80's.

Gary

AaronWF
04-04-2012, 20:37
To my best recollection, having first bought Old Fitzgerald Prime in the 1970's, it was, at that time, an 86 proofer aged 6 years old. The bonded of course would have been 4 fours old but possibly older at certain periods. The one pictured says "new" on the sash, so it must have been unusual to release one at 8 years old, but clearly they did at one time, probably due to the glut. But for many years it's been NAS, thus at least four years old, probably 4-5 as Chuck said. The 8 in the range was generally the Fitzgerald 1849, again IIRC, but I believe is NAS now.

Gary

When I researched the bottles I found (which have a 64 on the bottom of the bottle), I read somewhere that the Prime Straight was first released in 1964 only weeks after Pappy retired (word is he refused to sell bourbon below 100pf because he did not consider himself in the business of shipping water around the country, which is of course a great line!). It was first released at 86.8pf with an 8-year age statement. I don't know when it changed (perhaps with the sales of S-W in '72?), but I suppose all the hullabaloo with OWA and WSR losing their age statements has precedent in even the highest of places.