Old Fitzgerald 15 explodes with caramel, vanilla, orange, and cherry sweetness. There’s a muted bready note with potent (but not overbearing) doses of oak, cinnamon, clove, chocolate, and old wood. We’re talking freshly burnt crème brûlée that’s so sweet and a little burnt but oh so delicious. In some ways it also reminds me of maple chocolate pecans coated in orange zest. The 100 proof is a tad hotter than I expected, but it still tastes amazing.
Post “chewing”, I taste caramel, honey, and toasted vanilla sweetness wrapped up in roasted oak, dried oranges, cinnamon, clove and dark chocolate. There’s just a little bit of lemon, marshmallow, and candied ginger. As with most Heaven Hill whiskeys, there is grassy nuttiness, but it’s dialed back. The alcohol is a little more aggressive this time, but the flavors still go back and forth between caramel, fruit, 75% cocoa chocolate bar, alcohol, and spice – really fantastic and fun. The flavors are brighter and more vibrant than I expected from something 15 years old. While it’s not absurdly dark or musty, there is an underlying dark chocolate and old wood presence throughout to remind me of its age. Old Fitzgerald is an incredibly deep, rich, and flavorful bourbon.
The finish eases into sweet honey, caramel, and vanilla oakiness with a little alcohol bite that turns into lightly bitter dark chocolate, hazelnut, nutmeg, orange peel, and coffee grounds. Older bourbons can sometimes have an exaggerated oaky and bitter finish, but not with this Old Fitz. Further exploring the finish after “chewing”, I’m left with lingering alcohol tingle with balanced caramel, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, orange, and nutmeg. It’s less bitter now, with long lingering citrus peel, walnut, and spearmint, a wonderful end to a wonderful bourbon.