The Old Fitzgerald Venetian Decanter was released in 1966 as a holiday decanter. The whiskey was bottled-in-bond and was made in the spring of 1960 and bottled in the fall of 1966. It was made by the distiller Roy Hawes, who in my opinion made the best whiskey to come out of Stitzel-Weller. The Van Winkle family still owned the distillery at this time and they were allowing Hawes to make it the way they always had before with jug yeast instead of dried yeast, a good portion of barley malt and no enzymes, and a barrel entry proof of 107. All of these things would change after the family sold the distillery and the new owners looked for ways to make the whiskey cheaper and to increase profits.
Old Fitzgerald Venetian Decanter
Age: Bottled-in-Bond, Spring 1960 – Fall 1966
Nose: Rich caramel, French vanilla, ripe apples, hazelnuts and oak with a hint of dark chocolate.
Taste: Caramel, chocolate, fried apples, pepper and oak with a little hazelnut. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the ripe apple and oak come forward and the pepper moves to the background. When tasted with a pecan, there is less fruit and more caramel and oak.
Finish: Long and dry with oak, hazelnuts and pepper spice. The cranberry makes the finish sweeter up front with notes of apple and caramel, but it soon dries out with some oak and pepper. The pecan makes the finish very long with oak, chocolate and a hint of pepper.
I would pair this Bourbon with a My Father The Judge cigar. The chocolate notes of the smoke will work well with the sweet caramel of the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller