Heaven Hill delivers what we all want: 11-year-old Bottled-in-Bond

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Heaven Hill Distillery announced today the release of a limited-edition series of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which hit stores each spring and fall, per a press release.

The beautiful decanter represents Old Fitzgerald’s lineage and the bottled-in-bond designation, the company said. The 11-year-old bottling is 100 proof and $110. It will be available on an allocation basis, the company said.

Heaven Hill acquired Old Fitzgerald in 1999 from then United Distillers, who sold Weller to Sazerac and Rebel Yell to Luxco. Prior to these acquisitions, United Distillers ramped up wheated bourbon prodution for the Japanese market, only to see that economy dry up. From 1992 to 1999, United Distillers offloaded most of its wheated bourbon stocks, which would be used in famous bottlings such as Pappy Van Winkle, William Larue Weller and John E. Fitzgerald. (Read more in my book, Bourbon.)

In 2011, Heaven Hill launched Larceny, slowly phasing out the mid-shelf Fitzgerald line and converting the brand into more of a premium, such as this release.

Comprised of barrels produced from February through May of 2006, and bottled in April of 2018, this release taps into the line’s bottled-in-bond legacy. The Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Series will be available in the 750ml size on an allocated basis each spring and fall throughout the next five years, the company said. The spring 2018 edition meets the strict requirements of a bottled-in-bond: the product of a single distillery from a single distilling season, aged a minimum of four years, and bottled at 100 proof or 50% alcohol by volume.

The packaging is a throwback to the 1950s Old Fitzgerald diamond decanter, the newest packaging will thrill collectors as the brand was traditionally bottled in artistic decanters of all shapes and sizes. The label features the time-honored graphic of a key, commemorating an important element in original labels and the brand’s slogan since the 1940’s, “Your key to hospitality.” Kentucky’s state seal and a prominent brand banner replicate a pre-Prohibition label. Spring editions will be denoted with a green label and fall editions with a black label. The age will change with each edition and will also be indicated on the bottom of the label.

Each edition’s tax strip, which has always been a signature of transparency on bottled-in-bond products, will disclose when the liquid was produced and bottled.

“For 82 years Heaven Hill Distillery has nurtured and produced historic brands of quality and heritage,” said Heaven Hill Distillery Master Distiller Denny Potter. “It is an honor to join a famous line of distillers behind the Old Fitzgerald name and to continue to uphold the tradition of the brand through its bottled-in-bond designation, which dates to the early 1900s.”

 

Fred Minnick is the author of several books, including Bourbon. Sign up for his free newsletter.

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