Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Old Fitz has recently released their 17-Year-Old limited edition bourbon, making it a center of attraction in online forums and bars.
Is the expression’s high demand worth the hype or just a simple one carried by its reputable brand?
We took the time to have this Old Fitzgerald 17-Year Bourbon review to evaluate if it’s a “get or forget.” Let’s go.
Old Fitzgerald 17-Year Bourbon In-Depth Review
Old Fitz’s 17YO bourbon is a wheated spirit– one of the Heaven Hill expressions brands.
It’s one of the releases of the distillery in 2022, with the bottling that took place during spring after they put it into barrels in 2004.
Due to the long years of aging, it has rich oak and caramel notes. It’s aromatic with a smooth and satisfying finish.
|Distillery||Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery|
|Classification & Region||Straight Bourbon/Kentucky, USA|
|Mash Bill||68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% barley malt|
|Average Price||Around $185 (MSRP)|
What’s Old Fitzgerald 17-Year Bourbon?
The 2022 release of the Old Fitzgerald series is this 17YO bottled-in-bond bourbon at 100-proof.
It was distilled and barreled somewhere within the fall of 2004, bottled and released in the spring of 2022, carrying a 17-Year age statement.
Quick Fact: Green Label means a spring release, and Black Label means a fall release.
This is by far the oldest Old Fitz compared to the previous releases. Also, using wheat instead of rye mash, this Old Fitzgerald bottled-in-bond is a wheated bourbon whiskey.
This bourbon expression is one of the specialties from the distillery, alongside:
- Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond – high-proof Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
- Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Barrel Proof expressions – wheated bourbons
- Bernheim Barrel Proof – Kentucky straight wheat whiskey
- Evan Williams BiB – high-proof
On the nose, this gives dark chocolate, cherry, and butterscotch notes. Then, dried fruit and black pepper spice aromas follow with a touch of charred oak and ethanol.
We like how the flavors continue to develop as the nose lingers.
On the palate, this bourbon is quite rich with loads of oak, butterscotch, vanilla sweetness, cherry, and toffee notes.
Since this is a wheated bourbon, the wheat notes are apparent; no rye spice at all.
As the sip continues, notes of fire-roasted almonds and fruit come through. Then, the aroma of vanilla frosting adds a touch of cinnamon and ginger notes.
The finish delivers a combination of charred and herbaceous oak with hints of baking spices, ground nuts, and corn.
If you want to try this, expect a long-lasting bitterness along with the sweetness.
Why We Like It
- This Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 17-Year-Old Straight Bourbon is simply delicious and delivers almost anything you’d expect from old bourbons.
- Well-rounded flavors combine well in a glass, making every “cheers” a moment to look forward to.
- With this whiskey’s age, it’s well worth the price and value. This Old Fitz release shows expertise from the distiller due to its impressive quality, savory tasting notes, and satisfying feel.
- This bottled-in-bond straight bourbon release is getting harder to find these days. It’s one of those “limited-release” bourbons with high demand (even before its release), so you’ll need to hunt.
- It is packed with oak notes, a dominant flavor in this aged bourbon whiskey. If you’re into oaky notes, you’ll like this one. But if having an intense oak spice is too much for you, you’ll want to pass on this one.
The Rating On Old Fitz 17-Year Bourbon
We rate this 17 YO Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond bourbon whiskey 4-stars. Why?
“As a leader of the Bottled-in-Bond category, Heaven Hill is proud to offer a premium product within this special class that showcases the authenticity and quality of the American Whiskey portfolio.”— Heaven Hill, Owner
It’s a premium bourbon whiskey suitable for special occasions at a high price. The price is reasonable, considering the quality and brand reputation.
If you have enough to spend for this drink, especially for connoisseurs, we suggest trying this straight bourbon from the Old Fitz.
For beginners, this is too much for an entry-level expression.
To Get Or Forget?
As we mentioned above, it comes at a high price tag ($185), so we highly recommend trying a glass of this drink before purchasing a whole bottle.
If you’re a consistent fan of this series, don’t skip this whiskey– it has enough proof and rich flavors, giving a smooth experience.
Also, whiskey of this age is unusual, so there’s no reason to skip this bottle.
But, if, unfortunately, you can’t find this whiskey these days, we have alternatives for you to try, like:
- Olk Elk Wheated Straight Bourbon
- Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
- Penelope Barrel Strength (Batch 5, in particular)
- Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon
Do they still make Old Fitzgerald bourbon?
Yes. Fitzgerald bourbon is currently being produced under the Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery. In 1999, HH acquired the brand together with the Bernheim Distillery from Diageo .
What whiskey is similar to Fitzgerald?
The whiskey similar to the Old Fitz is Larceny, also from the Heaven Hill Distillery . These two expressions use the same wheat mash.
Does Heaven Hill Sell Fitzgerald at the distillery?
We can’t know for sure if Heaven Hill sells the Old Fitz at their facility in Kentucky. But it’s safe to assume that there are available bottles within the distillery.
One thing’s for sure, this expression is a must-have.
Old-aged expressions aren’t often introduced by distilleries, and if that happens, it’s only a limited release, so always grab the chance.
Old Fitz is worth the hype and price point. The alcohol content didn’t disappoint, the flavors are savory, and the finish is good.
Overall, you can expect a great drinking experience.