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  1. #1
    Administrator in exile
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    BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Bourbon of the Month, August 2005:

    Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Bold, yet refined. Tasty, yet affordable. Old Fitz is one of the classic wheaters from a by-gone era, which continues strong into the new millennia. Take this opportunity to comment on the Old Fitzgerald of today, and how you think it has held up over time.

    Sound Off

  2. #2
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Jeff,
    Unfortunately, you have picked one that is not available in PA and I have not seen in my travels. I will anxiously wait to hear the reviews however.
    Joe

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    May 2005
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Great, I just bought the Jefferson Reserve Saturday night. At least it was on sale. I had to spring into action, as once a month a large liquor store here has "Family Day" (no, it doesn't mean 12 year olds picking up kegs), where all liquor is 15% off. BTW, it wasn't too shabby, but there are better at $40.00. Well, looks like a run to the liquor store is in order...

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Jul 2004
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    Oklahoma is OK
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Haven't found it so far, but I'll redouble my efforts and check with some of the smaller establishments here in town. I'm not optimistic about my chances however, so I may have to sit this month out.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Never seen that one in NY either. Tom V

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Not by design it was (in terms of BOTM) that I picked this up in Providence, RI over the weekend but glad Providence has given me the chance to comment. Jeff, I agree it is bold and a good value. It has an interesting "fresh wood" background somewhat like Evan Williams' whiskeys but without the twang from the rye. The alcohol is well melded, it is not hard to drink neat. But it lacks the finesse and peanut-like (or pecan-like as Mike Veach has said) concentrated sweetness I recall from the 1970's S-W versions and have actually tasted in historic examples of Old Fitz Bonded, once incredibly in the presence of the Van Winkles. The current issue isn't in the same class, on the other hand, it is an inexpensive whiskey that offers excellent value. Apart from the somewhat unrefined flavor I find it lacks in the finish which seems a bit ragged and incomplete. (On the other hand this factor might disappear if consumed on the rocks or in a highball, I did not try it iced). I plan to blend it with more costly bourbon (e.g. I think it would work well with a bourbon like Elmer T. Lee or any rich bourbon in fact) and with cocktails. This would make a great Manhattan. By the way I don't know how old it is but I'd bet at least 8 years if not more, it shows good age in the taste.

    Gary


  7. #7
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    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    I'm not complaining, but it (or any Old Fitzgerald bottling) is not available in my area.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about everyones' experiences.

    Tim

  8. #8

    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    How's this for an oddity -- I CAN find Old Fitz BIB occasionally in older stores -- and I never pass it up -- but it virtually always is Stitzel-Weller. Our area distributors dropped it before Heaven Hill bought the label, so I don't have any of the current bottling(s), though I almost always have either the 80-proof Prime or BIB from late-S/W days open.
    Anyway, the Old Fitz BIB currently open is a 200ml (thanks, Dawn -- she was in TN last week and stopped by and gave it to me), strip-stamped bottle that carries a TN shoulder tax stamp, which was discontinued in 1992. The bottom of the bottle indicates it dates from 1988 -- so this is mid-'80s distillate at the latest.
    So, will y'all settle for that -- it's the best I can do?!
    The nose is an olio of dark brown sugar, caramel and maple syrup, and both its depth and the whiskey's color signal this is more than the standard BIB's 4 years old.
    Wow! This has pedal-to-the-metal alcohol heat, but largely tempered by the sweetness of the wheat. It explodes at mid-palate, slowly tapering though a medium-long finish. The astringent oak notes also indicate more than the minimum age. There is some noticeable cinnamon/black pepper spiciness leading to the finish (I've always found that remarkable about S-W wheat: its rye-like spiciness). The sweet-hot spices blow away the wood acidity at the finish.
    I like it -- but this is outdoor, winter flask bourbon (seems funny to say that about a wheater). It has a warm substance.

    Some technical stuff (courtesy of Mike Veach, historian and former UD archivist in the last days of Stitzel-Weller, from his contemporaneous notes): the Stitzel-Weller mashbill was roughly 75% corn, 20% wheat, 5% barley malt, and barreled at 110 proof (UD increased that to 114 proof when the Bernheim distillery started making the recipe -- don't know what HH uses). The small amount of malt meant that enzymes had to be added to convert the sugars to alcohol. It may also be a part of what made/makes S-W wheat so distinctive.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2005
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    Nara, Japan
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    98

    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    I've only seen one post SW OFBIB collecting dust on the bottom shelf of a small shop. It was $18. Is that the typical going price? Not sure if it's available anymore in Northern California. Any fellow Bay Area members see any?

  10. #10

    Re: BOTM, 8/05: Old Fitzgerald BIB

    Try Hi Time Wines. This link should get you to it.

    http://www.hitimewines.com/istar.asp?a=6...D30%26pos%3D120

 

 

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