I decided to revisit this one, and it's not tasting especially good tonight. A little astringent to me....perhaps it was what I had for dinner. Oh well....I'll give it a try again in a few weeks and will probably have a different opinion at that time.
I happen to have picked up a bottle of VSOF about two months ago. I think I paid around $33 for it. I get some caramel and mint and a longish spicy finish. I am not getting much on the nose, though. I like it, but for the money, I think it could have more going on.
I can't believe it, but a large retailer in Milwaukee just got a couple 6-packs 2 weeks ago, and I just cracked it. ($37.99)
Trying it side-by-side-by-side with Old Fitz BIB DSP-1, and Weller 12.
Compared to the BIB, the nose on the 12yr is deeper, and more rich. BIB is quite medicinal, whereas the 12yr is sweeter with almond and vanilla. The middle and finish is surely Bernheim wheat. What I mean by that is while it's clearly a wheater, it's a bit more feral and aggressive than BT wheat. BT is certainly sweeter and softer, with more vanilla and buttery richness. Weller 12 also has a longer finish.
The Weller 12 is a Liter for $26.99. While the Old Fitz 12 won't replace it as a regular pour, I'm really glad I scored some bottles. It's great to have a range of styles.
I just cracked a bottle of this and am finding myself agreeing with the couple posts above in re: astringency and lack of action on the nose. This tastes like a much younger whiskey to me, and I can't say that I'm crazy about it.
Having spent a month with this bottle (and being near the end of it) I feel like amending my post above. It is still astringent, and it still doesn't have much of a nose, but you can tease some good flavor out of this stuff. I found myself cutting it aggressively with water--think 3/4 oz. of water to a 2 oz. pour, which is not something I would do with any other 90-proof bourbon I've had.
Once you do that, it's hot but some essential wheat bourbon qualities come through. I really wish the Fitzgerald had mellowed out in wood to the extent that something like Weller 12 does, but at least I feel like I understand the stuff a little better.
I'm a fan of the HH release. I like it more than Lot B or Weller 12 by a long shot.
I was fortunate enough to snag a bottle of the BHC version, which is SW according to my sources. Can't wait to do a side by side of both.