Friday, February 22, 2019

Old Fitzgerald 9 Year Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $90
- 100 Proof
- 9 Years
- Kentucky

This was one of those pure-dumb-luck pick-ups for me. I've had the regular Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond, and while it was a good pour, it just didn't strike me as something to chase down in the event there's ever a premium offering. However, being the opportunist that I am, I wasn't about to let one get away when I found it in the wild, and at retail, this despite it sitting next to an 11-year version at a significant markup.

While I typically don't comment on packaging or labels, in this case I will, because this is one beautiful bottle. Replace the cork stopper with a glass stopper and this would make an excellent, permanent decanter. As I'm writing this I'm trying to figure out something to do with it to keep from throwing it away. Perhaps now is the time to start an infinity bottle!

 The nose was soft, but very sweet. It was heavy on the caramel and brown sugar, but it also had a certain level of char to it as well. All in all it came across as a delicious creme brulee! It also had some light pepper balanced by a bit of sweet vanilla.  Although it may sound like a balanced and delicious dessert, it did have some rough edges on the aroma, just something sharp to it, perhaps from that pepper spice.

On the first couple pours, I really liked this bourbon. I found it to be soft and subtle, but what flavors were there were very enjoyable. I got an initial dose of caramel and vanilla, with even a bit of chocolate flavor to go with. There was a mild cinnamon undertone that I found to be enjoyable as well, even if I wished it were more prominent.

However, I found myself liking this one less and less as I worked my way through the bottle. It seemed to take on a certain dryness that wasn't there initially, creating a tannic, bitter note on the back of my tongue. I also found that I got a lot more corn up front the more of it that I had. This made it hot without being spicy. 

It did develop a nice amaretto flavor that I really enjoyed, only I wish there were more of it. That flavor seemed to disappear pretty quickly, turning into more of a cardboard note. And yet, it still remained sweet, which just didn't jive.

I really wanted to like this one, and at first I thought I was going to. It drank like an easy sipper with good, albeit subtle notes of caramel and vanilla. However, I eventually started to notice flavors that just either weren't as enjoyable or did not seem to work with the other flavors. I heard good things about these releases, and the 9-year in particular, but this one just didn't do it for me. It was good, but certainly did not live up to expectations.

Grade: B-

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