Distilled way back in 2004, this is the newest release from Heaven Hill in their Old Fitzgerald limited edition Decanter Series. Bottled after 17 years of aging, this embodies the Spring 2022 release, using their wheated mashbill, and is bottled at 50% as bottled in bond regulations require. As the oldest release to date in the series, with a modest $185 price tag, this is enticing on paper. Can it live up in the glass? Let's dig in.
Pure baking spice on the nose: maple candies, brown sugar, tobacco, clove, and a big ol' scoop of toffee and cocoa. Rich doesn't begin to explain the complexity.
Rich on the palate as well, plenty of oak and tannin without becoming overbearing. Toffee, caramel candies, pound cake, nougat and creme brulee. Bold and oaky, plenty of tannin, the ABV is dialed right in.
Long finish, powerful, complex, and packed with character. It hangs on for forever, the balance between "old, oaky, covered in tannin" and "pure dessert, baking spice and maple goodness" just works here.
You need to love oak, but not old, bitter, nasty oak. This 17yr Bottled in Bond is the crossroads between oaky boldness, sweet dessert and rich, creamy sweetness. It's a winner, through and through.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.